Martin Perez: Buy Or Sell?
At 22, Martin Perez finally become a somewhat successful Major League pitcher after years of teasing with excellent stuff, but so-so results. With a 4.04 xFIP in 124 1/3 innings and another 36 in Triple-A, he’s teeter-tottering on fantasy relevancy.
If Martin Perez a pitcher who can provide above average production in 2014 while pushing 180-plus innings pitched? Or, is Perez still a marginal disappointment who will be lucky to repeat the success he had in 2013?
To begin, we need to understand context. As a pitcher who was always young for his level of competition, Perez’ numbers were suppressed, leading to his being downgraded as a prospect by the industry. Is it fair? Of course not, but the cycle repeats itself time and time again when one has only statistics to judge a pitching prospect by.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, this is why pitchers like Dan Straily and Brad Peacock become prospect darlings after dominating competition as older prospects. Don’t forget how much helium plays a role in the perception of a prospect’s value.
As for Perez, his peripherals continue to improve at the Major League level with more room to grow. Prior to the season, I wrote a piece about Ivan Nova which included;
“For me, the sweet spot for identifying pitchers with no downside is simple.
< 3 BB/9
Perez has the walks in check, but needs to strike out one more batter per nine, while upping his ground ball percentage by about two-percent. With breaking stuff in need of further refinement, Perez has a glaring area in need of improvement and doing so would result in a quick jump in production. In scouting, when a pitcher shows touch and movement with the changeup (Perez does), then it becomes easier to trust that the breaking stuff will develop.
My gut tells me this off-season will be your last opportunity to add him on the cheap. In 5×5 leagues, his playing for a winning ball club is an added bonus as a few extra wins can be expected.
As a side note, dynasty league planning is tricky because helium plays such a big part of the equation. In 2014, I expect Tony Cingrani to outperform Martin Perez, but the Reds left-hander is a sell when considering his perceived value is at or near its peak. Remember this when reading this “Buy Or Sell” series. Ultimately, the goal is to compete now, while adding pieces for the future to help sustain success.
3 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
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