Joe Perez Names Toughest Astros Prospect Pitcher to Face

(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

Earlier this month, Houston Astros prospect Joe Perez joined the Astros Future Podcast to discuss the offseason and a career-year in 2021. Perez, who was added to the 40-man roster prior to the lockout, cannot report to mini-camp nor minor-league spring training.

On the podcast, Perez spoke about his first fully healthy season in Minor League Baseball, following no season in 2020. The infielder’s offensive production bolstered over the year leading to a promotion to Double-A in late June.

Perez is now working on his own, following his first full-season of professional baseball. He noted that it did catch up to him by September. With 106 games under his belt, it was the longest stretch of baseball Perez had played yet.

Following topics of minor-league culture and changes for the upcoming season, Perez was asked who the toughest pitcher he has ever faced was. While he couldn’t pinpoint any pitcher he faced professionally or in high school, the 22-year-old noted that Hunter Brown is the Astros toughest prospect to face.

Joe Perez names Hunter Brown as the toughest Astros prospect to face.

Although Perez and Brown have never faced each other in a regular minor-league game nor at another level, they have been teammates in the Astros’ system, more recently at the Double-A level with the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Brown was promoted to Triple-A before the end of the season, where he posted a 9.7 strikeout per nine innings which was below his career-high of 13.9 that he set in Double-A. The right-hander has improved his curveball over the last season, as he is on track to make his debut by 2023.

"“Already armed with plus-plus velocity after coming out of a Division-II school in Michigan, Brown has added a plus-plus curve since turning pro and could enjoy a rapid rise with greater pitch efficiency,” FanGraphs noted regarding Brown’s top-100 selection."

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