Solid state: Perez boasts solid defense and possible offensive pop, so keep an eye on him in 2020. (Tiffany Wintz/South Side Hit Pen)
SSHP rank among all catchers in the system: 4
Carlos Perez, whose older brother with the same first name played in the majors from 2015-18, signed with the White Sox as an international free agent prior to the 2014 season. In the DSL, Perez was quite the hitter (albeit without power) as he combined to slash .323/.380/.397 with 29 walks (11.3%) and just 12 strikeouts (4.7%) in 257 at-bats.
The 2016 season saw Perez struggle, which is not an uncommon occurrence for someone playing Stateside for the first time. Combined with the AZL White Sox, Great Falls and Kannapolis in 34 games totaling 116 at-bats, Perez slashed just .198/.218/.259 with four doubles, a homer, 14 RBIs, three walks (2.4%) and four strikeouts (3.3%).
After a solid rebound season with Great Falls in 2017, Perez enjoyed what his best offensive Stateside season to date in 2018 with Kannapolis. In 78 games totaling 276 at-bats, he slashed .290/.298/.395 with 18 doubles, one triple, three homers, 32 RBIs, four walks (1.4%) and 31 strikeouts (10.8%). Perez increased his walk totals in 2019 for Winston-Salem, at the sacrifice of a few hits here and there. For the Dash, he slashed .263/.316/.327 with 14 doubles, two homers, 33 RBIs, 24 walks (7.0%) and 26 strikeouts (7.6%).
Perez’s calling card is his defense, as he has above-average skills behind the plate. While his arm strength is basically average, his quick release makes up for it. In 2019, Perez thwarted 41-of-105 stolen base attempts for a nifty 39.0%. He limited his passed balls to just seven, which really isn’t bad compared to others in the system. With Perez’s lack of power offset by plus ability to make contact combined with his defense (as arguably the best defensive catcher in the system), Perez may still have future as a backup catcher in the majors. Look for Perez to begin the 2020 season with Birmingham.