Cuban Livan Hernandez became the first rookie to win the ALCS and World Series MVP in the same post season, helping the franchise capture its first championship in 1997. Josh Beckett was the hero of the LA NLCS and World Series MVP when the Marlins won their second ring in 2003. The late Jose Fernandez was the National League Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-Star in the four seasons before his death in 2016.
the fourth is the Dominican Right Yuri Perez, who Will debut in the big leagues on Friday, Located in #10 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list, at 20 years and 27 days old, would become the youngest pitcher in Marlins history, surpassing Fernandez by 223 days. He will be the youngest player to appear in the majors since his compatriot Elvis Luciano entered the Diamondbacks in 2019 at the age of 19 years and 44 days, and tied with Mexican Julio Urías (19 years, 289 days) in the Big Top I will be the youngest starter. Dodgers in 2016.
Despite his age, Perez is an exciting talent who has blossomed quicker than expected, especially considering his professional debut was delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first thing that stands out about Perez is his height: 1.88 meters. Not only is he taller than most pitchers, but he also has elite body control for someone so big and so small. He has no problem keeping his long limbs in sync and replicating his speed on the mound, allowing him to land a ton of strikes.
Pérez’s arsenal also makes an immediate impact. His fastball is typically in the 94 to 97 mph range and has topped 100 mph, and the way his fastball hits is as remarkable as his speed. His changeup is just as devastating as his fastball, traveling near 90 mph before vanishing at home plate.
Early in his career, Pérez used a 75+ mph curveball as his primary breaking pitch. It’s still a solid send, but he rarely uses it, preferring a slider added in 2022 and traveling closer to 85 mph.
In addition to his physical ability, Perez stands out with his maturity and mound presence, two other factors that have allowed him early success since signing for $200,000 in 2019. Age 16. He had added 4 inches and 20 pounds when he reported to an instructional league in the fall of 2020, after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the minor league season.
Although he had yet to pitch in an official game as a pro and was the youngest pitcher in camp, Pérez was most dominant there, hitting 95 mph and pitching what has become a quality secondary. Demonstrates its foundation. His material and polished passing convinced the Marlins to send him to Class-A in 2021 for his professional debut at age 19. The Dominican responded with a 1.96 ERA and holding opposing hitters to a .158 average, finishing with a 108/26 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 78 innings and finishing the year at a Class-A high.
Miami tested Pérez again last year, sending him down to Double-A, even though he didn’t turn 19 until shortly after Opening Day. There he dominated with a 3.97 ERA, .221 average, and 11/25 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 77.0 innings. He also shone in the All-Star Futures Game in Los Angeles, hitting 99 mph while needing only 10 pitches to retire three top 100 prospects in order.
Pérez soon suffered a strained hamstring, forcing the Marlins to suspend games for a month as a precaution. But the youngster returned in time to help Pensacola win the Double-A Southern League. Pérez began the 2023 season in Double-A and gave up five earned runs in his first two starts, but allowed just three in his last four starts. He ranks among the Southern League leaders in several categories, including strikeouts (42, 4th), average (.148, 4th), strikeout minus transfer percentage (28.2, 4th), earned run average (2.32, 4th) . sixth) and strikeout rate (12.2 per nine innings, sixth).
Pérez still has room to improve on some details of his trade, like defending his position and keeping runners near, but he has the material and balance to pitch in the big leagues at age 20. Miami needs help with a rotation that lacks consistency behind Sandy Alcantara and Jesus Luzardo, and is without the services of Dominicans Johnny Cueto and Trevor Rogers with injuries.
The Marlins will continue to treat Pérez with a grain of salt because of how young he is, and because he has never pitched more than 78.0 innings in a season. Given his track record, there’s no reason to think he won’t be successful in major competitions, even in the short term for now. Once established, he is expected to be the Marlins’ next elite pitching prospect to convert his potential into stardom.