The Pirates have signed infielder Joe Perez to a minor league deal, in line with his transactions tracker at MLB.com. He’s been assigned to Double-A Altoona for now.
It’s one thing of a birthday current for Perez, who turns 24 years outdated right now. He rapidly finds himself a brand new job after being launched by the Astros final week. He had been on their 40-man roster till they acquired Justin Verlander, which led to Perez being designated for project and clearing waivers.
The ’Stros chosen him within the second spherical of the 2017 draft however accidents and the pandemic would restrict his alternatives within the years to come back. By the beginning of 2021, he had solely performed in 54 video games as knowledgeable. However 2021 was one thing of a breakout for him, as he was lastly wholesome and capable of thrive. He hit 18 residence runs in 106 video games throughout three completely different ranges, going from Single-A to Excessive-A and Double-A. His .291/.354/.495 batting line amounted to a wRC+ of 125.
The Astros added him to their 40-man roster that November to guard him from being chosen within the Rule 5 draft and he went into 2022 thought of the membership’s #5 prospect at Baseball America and #8 at FanGraphs. He obtained the briefest of debuts in April of that yr, putting out in a single plate look earlier than getting optioned again to the minors. Shortly thereafter, the damage bug bit him once more, with an indirect pressure placing him out of motion for a few months. He was finally capable of get into 83 minor league video games that yr, hitting .290/.359/.417 for a wRC+ of 103.
Coming into this season, BA nonetheless had him ranked thirteenth within the Astros’ system however he hasn’t had an awesome yr. His .255/.328/.399 Triple-A batting line quantities to a wRC+ of 74 within the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. FanGraphs launched their Astros prospect record in June and had Perez down at #36.
Regardless of his subpar outcomes this yr, it’s a smart pickup for the Pirates. Perez is just not too far faraway from being a prime 10 prospect with Houston and missed plenty of time as a result of accidents and the pandemic. He’s nonetheless younger and will maybe nonetheless develop with extra reps. Defensively, he’s primarily been a 3rd baseman however has additionally hung out at first, second and the outfield corners. If he is ready to get a roster spot, he’ll nonetheless have one choice yr remaining after this one.