Rookies On Deck: Marlins Top Prospect Makes MLB Debut
On July 2, 2019, the Miami Marlins signed free agent RHP Eury Perez to a minor league contract. After the 2020 season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Marlins sent Perez to start his pro career with the Jupiter Hammerheads in Low A ball in 2021.
By the time the 2023 season rolled around, he was already starting in Double, as he posted dominating numbers for his minor league career. Through 44 starts, he recorded a 2.85 ERA, with 260 strikeouts in 186 innings pitched.
This season and before his promotion to the big leagues, the overall #1 Marlins prospect was 3-1, with a 2.32 ERA, striking out 42 batters in 31 innings pitched.
Earlier in the week, the Marlins made the decision to finally promote their most prized possession in the minors, and they did it with style and some star power.
“Se te quiere” –@sandyalcantar22
the bigs awaits, Eury. #MakeItMiami pic.twitter.com/SkYdpSxKeD
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) May 10, 2023
Perez made his MLB debut on Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds and his first pitch to Reds lead off hitter Jonathan India, was a 98.6 MPH fastball for a strike. The very next pitch was the same and India gave it a ride to right center but Peyton Burdick picked it out of the sky for Perez’s first official MLB out.
The 20 year old righty, then induced a ground ball out to the next batter, and after he walked Spencer Steer on five pitches, he struck out Tyler Stephenson on three straight strikes, with a 98.1 MPH four seam fastball on the inside corner of the plate, freezing the batter.
In the rookies second inning of work, he started the inning with a strikeout, then after allowing a single to Henry Ramos, Wil Myers grounded into a fielder’s choice for the second out. Then like any soon to be great pitcher does, he struck out the next batter to end the threat. The sequence went like this, 96.9 Four season fastball for a swinging strike, a 97.8 MPH four seam fastball on the outside corner for a called strike, then a devastating 91.2 MPH curveball for a swinging strike out.
In the top of the third, Perez opened up the inning striking out the first two batters he faced, using 14 pitchers to get the job done, then after a walk, he induced a ground ball out to end the inning and keep the Reds scoreless through three innings.
Eury Pérez struck out seven in his MLB debut for the @Marlins, generating 16 swings-and-misses while topping out at 99.1 mph: pic.twitter.com/2ehbCG81F9
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 13, 2023
The Reds would finally welcomed the rookie to the big leagues in the top of the fourth, as Stephenson launched a four season fastball, way over the left field wall putting the Reds up 1-0. After Nick Senzel doubled on an 0-2 count, Perez settled down and retired the next three batters on a strikeout, sandwiched by two ground ball outs.
In the fifth, the Reds struck again, as Jake Fraley hit a two-out solo home run to put Cincinnati in front 2-1, which would end the night for Perez.
His overall line, 4.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 HRs, 2 BB, and 7 Ks.
The Marlins rallied to take the lead, but only to squander it in the back end of the game and lose 7-4 and remain tied with the New York Mets for third place at 19-20 in the NL East.
As for Perez, he showed dominance and poise on the mound when he needed it the most and if not for the last home run allowed, he may have been able to finish out the inning unscathed. Still a very impressive first MLB outing as he showed signs of becoming another Marlins dominating pitcher as in his fellow countryman Sandy Alcantara.
It will be a great summer of learning and growing for Perez on the big league level.
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