Big jump: Perez moved up from the DSL to Kannapolis, and hardly missed a beat. (Tiffany Wintz/South Side Hit Pen)
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher
SSHP rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system: 16
Just weeks before the DSL season was about to begin in 2017, the Milwaukee Brewers signed Wilber Perez to a $50,000 bonus. Perez, a Dominican native, pitched reasonably well that year (3.45 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 12.3 BB%, 21.9 K%). In a return to the Brewers in 2018, he was having a fantastic season when he was traded along with southpaw Kodi Medeiros for the services of White Sox closer Joakim Soria.
Perez continued excelling for the DSL White Sox after the swap. Overall for the 2018 season, he combined for 14 appearances (13 starts) totaling 70 1/3 innings and posted a 1.92 ERA and 0.92 WHIP; he also allowed 44 hits (.182 OBA) and 21 walks (7.6%) while fanning 75 hitters (27.2%).
Perez bypassed the AZL White Sox and Great Falls to pitch for Kannapolis during the entire 2019 season. Although he walked more hitters, Perez continued avoiding bats by allowing fewer hits and striking out his fair share of hitters. In 32 appearances (one start) for the Intimidators encompassing 70 innings, Perez surrendered just 36 hits (.149 OBA) but 45 walks (15.5%) while striking out 74 (25.5%).
According to Baseball Prospectus last year, Perez’s repertoire includes an 88-91 mph fastball, cutter, curve and changeup. With that said, based upon the high number of strikeouts, it’s possible Perez’s velocity may have jumped up a couple ticks. Lefties hit him at a nearly identical clip (.148) as had righties (.149).
Perez will likely begin 2020 with Winston-Salem, but will need to throw more strikes against the tougher competition.