The Wait is Finally Over for Eury Perez and his MLB Debut

Eury Perez

Photo by Edwin Garcia

The Miami/Florida Marlins in their 30 years as a franchise have produced quite a number of prospects to go on to have successful careers. When it comes to in-season call-ups, some of those prospects made an immediate impact and backed up the buzz surrounding their soon promotion to the big leagues. Look no further to two players called up during the 2003 season: Miguel Cabrera and 2003 Rookie of the Year, Dontrelle Willis.

Rookie Memory Lane

In 2006, two-thirds of the roster included rookies or players with less than three years of MLB experience. The Marlins even rolled out a starting rotation that consisted of Willis and four rookies! Hanley Ramirez would go on to win the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year representing the Fish and that core had a decent run.

That core would welcome an unlikely breakout rookie, Chris Coghlan, in 2009 and he would go on to win ROTY. Since then, Marlins fans have had far and few moments to look forward to the next “franchise player”. Giancarlo Stanton earned that title for a few years and became the franchise’s first player to win league MVP. At the end of the day, the Yankees were one of the few organizations that could even take on Stanton’s enormous contract in 2017.

Jose Fernandez’s call-up in 2016 is the last player that I can think of where there was legit hype and excitement surrounding a prospect. His story of escaping Cuba and getting to the majors only made the fans rally around him even more, especially with the large Hispanic population in Miami. Fernandez was the real deal and he backed it up every time he stepped on the mound.

Stanton and Fernandez were homegrown players and rose up the ranks of the organization from the very beginning. If you really look back, some of the call-ups in recent history that have panned out did not attract the same attention that Stanton and Fernandez received.

Eury Perez- Ace No. 2?

Sandy Alcantara is the ace and the face of the franchise but he came from the Cardinals minor league system and he had some growing pains in the first couple of years in the big leagues. The same can be said about Pablo Lopez (Mariners) and Jazz Chisholm Jr. (Diamondbacks). Max Meyer did not get the chance to showcase his talents last season after heading to the IL in the second outing of his MLB career.

It is no secret that Miami has had its busts with position player prospects in recent years, especially the players they received from the Stanton, Yelich, and Ozuna trades. When it comes to pitchers, Miami has depth in that position and most of the news coming from their minor league system is about 20-year-old, 6’8″ right-hander Eury Perez.

Imposing, electric, and explosive. All of that is used to describe Sandy Alcantara and Eury Perez is drawing similar comparisons. Perez is actually taller than Alcantara and reaches the upper 90s with his velocity while Sandy’s velocity grew as he developed year by year and now it is normal to see him hit triple digits.

Eury Perez will be making his MLB debut tomorrow, Friday, May 12 against the Cincinnati Reds at just 20 years of age. He turned 20 less than a month ago and has played in just a little over two years in Miami’s system plowing through the competition from low A through Double-A. In 44 starts from 2021 to his last outing, he has a 9-9 record with an outstanding 2.85 ERA in 186 innings pitched.

Why Now?

I honestly did not expect Perez to make an appearance in the 2023 season. I did not see the need to rush his development and process due to where the franchise is currently at the MLB level. But, after looking at Perez’s numbers from this season alone it’s hard to not give him the call after dominating opposing lineups. In six starts this season at Double-A Pensacola, Perez is 3-1 with a 2.32 ERA in 31 innings pitched and 42 strikeouts.

The numbers speak for themselves, Perez is ready. It makes no sense for him to be going through the motions in the minors when he has proven that he is ready for a promotion. Miami has been hovering around the .500 mark through the first 30-plus games of the season and Perez can be the shot in the arm the team needs. A trio of Alcantara, Jesus Luzardo, and Perez will be a tough series in the batter’s box for any opponent.

An extra arm like this can swing a series in Miami’s favor or even split a four-game series against a talented team. With the extra wild card spot in play, it is not far-fetched to believe that Miami can make a run at it if they are still in the hunt by the All-Star break. And we all know what the Marlins can do with some Wild Card magic.

Photo | Edwin Garcia

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