The Astros made four selections last night in the first two rounds of the MLB Draft.
The first one was J.B. Bukauskas who could profile as a reliever according to Jeremy Booth of Program 15. The Astros will try to develop him as a starting pitcher though. Michael Feliz was brought up as a starter but is in the bullpen now.
One of the other selections, the Astros drafted Joe Perez as a third baseman. Why is that a big deal, because he is better known for his pitching than his hitting? According to Baseball America, Perez can throw 99 mph but sits in the mid-90s. That was, before being shut down due to his impending Tommy John surgery later today.
Because of the surgery, he might have to serve as a designated hitter in the Astros minor league. Perez will have to recover from Tommy John before he can hit though. The Astros must have seen something that they liked in Perez. They typically don’t like to take risks with injuries, see Brady Aiken.
Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery today. I wonder who’s covering the medical bill? While there is no guarantee that he will sign with the Astros, they have to feel confident.
Baseball America had him ranked as the 99th overall draft prospect as a pitcher. MLB Pipeline has the 17-year-old Perez as the 93 overall prospect as a pitcher. The scouting report said that his bat is about a fifth or sixth round caliber. MLB Pipeline focused on the pitching part of Perez thinking that would be his upside.
Perez hit nine homers (via MaxPreps) with the Archbishop McCarthy High School Mavericks. As a duo threat player, the Astros decided his bat was worth it. High school players take the time to develop as is, then add the surgery, it could be a while.
It will take time to see what Perez becomes with him getting the TJ surgery. This could be a great pickup later. He did slip in the draft with the injury news. He expects to sign with the Astros and not attend the University of Miami. J.J. Cooper said there were a lot of wows heard when the Stros made their selection.
***Stats from MaxPreps***