With the 53rd pick in the draft tonight, the Astros selected third baseman Joe Perez from McCarthy High School in the spring training home of the Astros, Fort Lauderdale, FL
The Astros drafted Perez as an infielder, though he was considered a two-way player as early as this spring before he tore his UCL while pitching.
Standing at 6'3'', Perez exhibits solid athleticism and has solid power potential at third base, and he was reaching the mid-90: velocity-wise with his fastball before his UCL tear and received high praise for an electric arm.
Perez was more highly-regarded as a pitcher and he just turned 17 years old, so he's one of the most raw position player prospects in the draft. If he's planning on Tommy John surgery to repair his UCL he's looking at more of a layoff (though shorter than if he were to pitch in the pros). Perez signed to stay in South Florida at Miami - it will be interesting to see if his injury issues persuade him to improve his draft stock after three years at the U, though his upside and youth suggest some promise here.
This pick intrigued many industry people on Twitter, who probably thought it to be a risky overdraft, or maybe a “non-Luhnow” pick. However, even in those questions, Perez’s raw power was highlighted by many.
Love the #Astros taking Joe Perez as a hitter. He has monster power and it's pretty easy for him— Frankie Piliere (@FPiliereD1) June 13, 2017
The Astros must like his raw power potential and athleticism to turn into a hot corner prospect, though he's way, way far away from the majors. In a season where some valuable prospects are near certainties to be dealt at the deadline, continued investment in the farm system (even if it’s years down the road: Think a 2022 or ‘23 ETA for Perez) is a welcome sight to see.