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St. Louis Cardinals Top Prospects #4

Every other day over the next two months, John Nagel and Kyle Reis will announce a new prospect on The Redbird Daily’s Top 30 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect List. For each prospect, John and Kyle will reveal where that prospect landed on their personal lists and also few thoughts on the prospect. We hope you enjoy!

Prospect #4: Delvin Perez – 1st Round, 2016 Draft

2016 Stats: GCL Cardinals – 294/352/393/745, 163 AB, 8 Doubles, 4 Triples, 0 HR, 19 RBI, 12 SB, 1 Caught Stealing, 12 BB, 28 K

Kyle Reis (Prospect #4 On Personal List)

The use of a dangerous substance such as a steroid is a troubling habit that should not be rewarded. It’s 2017, and the sport has been overcast and clouded with the use of the drug for 20+ years at this point. It’s a damn shame.

That said, the Cardinals organization is benefiting once again from a players’ use of steroids. Without steroids, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa *Might* not ever have rekindled general interest in MLB, and Delvin Perez certainly wouldn’t have slipped to 23rd in the 2016 draft.

Make no mistake, I am going to try to make you feel old as hell here. Delvin put up all of the numbers above as a 17 year old. That feeling on the inside that you’re feeling? That’s your hubris stopping you from laughing out loud about how amazing that level of success is. He did slog a little bit during the middle of his season, but after a short respite from GCL manager Steve Turco he turned it back on. Believe it or not, it isn’t easy playing everyday, even for a 17 year old.

Delvin Perez is the best first round pick by the Cardinals since drafting Brett Wallace 13th overall in the 2008 draft, and he is the most exciting and highest upside pick since the selection of J.D. Drew 5th overall in the 1998 draft. Delvin has the chance to be a really great short stop, but he still has a lot of work to do to max out. His arm can get low, quick, and erratic at times, and his footwork can get very sloppy. But, you know, he’s still only 18 so I’m not worried about it. He has a tendency to over-stride in the batters box, as well, but I imagine that’ll fade as he gets used to more advanced off speed pitches.

I absolutely love the cut that Delvin takes. While nothing else about his game is similar, his swing and mechanical timing at the plate is a near carbon copy of former 7-time all-star and 2-time top 6 MVP finisher Alfonso Soriano‘s. It isn’t easy to come up with a player comparison for Delvin Perez. As a matter of fact, the next two players on our list are kind of anomalies. Which, by the way, is awesome. I think in a worst case scenario Perez ends up being a lot like Chris Owings, which is still pretty damn good. You’ve all heard the Carlos Correa comparison, but that isn’t remotely fair to Perez. Neither is the comparison to Francisco Lindor, but it’s a lot more accurate than the Correa comp. What I see is a player very similar to Rafael Furcal. So, you’re looking at  a guy that hits 30 doubles, 11 HR, steals 25+ bases, and slashes 280/350/410/760 over a 162 game average and has a long and prestigious career. For a more modern comp, I think he compares very favorably to White Sox SS Tim Anderson, who just inked a 6 year deal worth a minimum of $24 million after only 410 major league AB.

John Nagel, (Prospect #4 on Personal List)

From here on out, Kyle and I have the same rankings for the top 4 prospects. I think it shows how well our thoughts line up and I could not agree more with what he said above.

There are few times when a player the caliber of Delvin Perez comes along. I get the same sense in Perez that I had when Alex Reyes was coming up. He has star potential, something that only Reyes can claim in the Cardinals minor league system. I was pretty close to ranking him second on my list, but I do see the risks.

As far as comparisons, I am going with Francisco Lindor. His defensive game is better than his offensive one, but he is still above average offensively. He is not going to hit a ton of home runs, but I think he could top out at 10-15 in a season. I really tried to find a better, non Puerto Rican comp for Perez, but this appears to be the best one and it’s pretty good time to own a young SS from Puerto Rico. So much so that the Puerto Rican team that played in the WBC included Perez in their team send-off.

Are we over-selling Delvin Perez? Maybe, but I really believe he has the tools to be something special. Kyle mentioned his impressive numbers above, but not many 17-year olds hit for a 123 wRC+ in their first pro season. Perez came out of the gates quickly during 2017 spring training, homering in his first spring game, something he did not do all last season.

For 2017, I would not be surprised if Perez stays back with the Extended Spring group and continues to develop under Jose Oquendo. He could them fill in with the Peoria Chiefs if needed or he could begin the short season with either Johnson City or State College.

Here is a bold prediction for you. This time next year, Delvin Perez will be the Cardinals #1 prospect, surpassing Alex Reyes.

This kid is that good.



How we rank prospects: Click Here
Best of The Rest: Click Here
#30 Prospect: Daniel Poncedeleon
#29 Prospect: Jonathan Machado
#28 Prospect: Jeremy Martinez
#27 Prospect: John Gant
#26 Prospect: Alvaro Seijas
#25 Prospect: Nick Plummer
#24 Prospect: Jordan Hicks
#23 Prospect: Zac Gallen
#22 Prospect: Bryce Denton
#21 Prospect: Johan Oviedo
#20 Propsect: Randy Arozarena
#19 Prospect: Connor Jones
#18 Prospect: Dylan Carlson
#17 Prospect: Ronnie Williams
#16 Prospect: Paul DeJong
#15 Prospect: Ryan Helsley
#14 Prospect: Eli Alvarez
#13 Prospect: Jake Woodford
#12 Prospect: Dakota Hudson
#11 Prospect: Junior Fernandez
#10 Prospect: Magneuris Sierra
#9 Prospect: Edmundo Sosa
#8 Prospect: Jack Flaherty
#7 Prospect: Harrison Bader
#6 Prospect: Austin Gomber
#5 Prospect: Sandy Alcantara
#4 Prospect: Delvin Perez
#3 Prospect: 3/29
#2 Prospect: 3/31
#1 Prospect: 4/2

Kyle Reis
Kyle is a South City St Louis born and raised. He is 30 years old and grew up at old Busch Stadium. His favorite Cardinals player of all time is Ray Lankford. Kyle is an overly simple person who loves countable baseball statistics, following minor league baseball, and friendly discourse. He tends to not take people seriously that refer for the team that they root for as "we" instead of "them".
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