South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect No. 98: Devon Perez

Solid start: Perez has been nothing but money since being drafted in 2018. (@Devon_Perez9)

Devon Perez
Right-handed relief pitcher

200 pounds
Age: 23
SSHP rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system: 18
Top Prospect ranking a year ago: N/R

Perez spent his first two seasons of college ball with Iowa Western CC before transferring to the University of Oklahoma for his junior and senior campaigns. While he performed respectably for the Sooners during his junior year with a 3.50 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, Perez’s numbers fell dramatically during his senior season: In 17 outings (13 starts) spanning 61 innings, Perez posted a 5.61 ERA and 1.54 WHIP by ceding 74 hits (.296 OBA) and 20 walks (7.2%) while striking out 43 (15.4%). As a result, he slipped to the 26th round, where the White Sox selected him in the 2018 draft.

Perez was a revelation last year for the AZL White Sox and Great Falls as he combined for a 3.89 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 41 2/3 innings, allowing 52 hits (.304 OBA) and just two walks (1.1%) while fanning 53 hitters (30.5%). That’s an incredible 26.5:1 K/99 ratio, folks!

In 2019 for Kannapolis, Perez allowed a few more walks but limited the damage against him. In 21 outings for the Intimidators spanning 56 1/3 innings, Perez posted a 3.20 ERA and 1.27 WHIP by relinquishing 47 hits (.227 OBA) and 15 walks (6.6) while striking out 55 (24.1%).

Baseball Draft Report listed Perez’s fastball at 89-93 mph and a good changeup at 76-80 mph. Hitters didn’t have much trouble elevating his pitches as they hit grounders at just a 17.5% clip this year, so Perez will need to work on that in order to have success next year at hitter-friendly Winston-Salem.

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Despite my entire family being Cub fans, I grew up listening to Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall on the radio as I listened to the entire season of the South Side Hit Men of '77. While it's true I have a myriad of other interests (American history, classic literature, classic rock, classic country, blues, jazz, gardening, family,etc.--not all in that order), few things aside from family surpass my interest in all things baseball--especially the White Sox.

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