The Cincinnati Reds have acquired right-handed pitcher Héctor Pérez in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday afternoon. The team announced that they will send a player to be named later or cash to complete the deal.

Héctor Pérez made his Major League debut this year with the Blue Jays. He only pitched in one game, allowing two earned runs in 1.2 innings. The now 24-year-old spent all of the 2019 season as a starting pitcher in Double-A New Hampshire where he made 24 starts, along with two relief appearances, throwing 121.1 innings with a 4.60 ERA, 67 walks, and 117 strikeouts.

Originally signed by the Houston Astros, Héctor Pérez was traded to Toronto at the trade deadline in 2018 along with Ken Giles and David Paulino in the deal that sent Roberto Osuna to Houston. He had entered that season as the Astros #7 prospect according to Baseball America. He’s fallen down the rankings a little bit since that 2018 season, though. Pérez was rated as the Blue Jays 19th prospect after the 2018 season, and was unranked following the 2019 season.

When he’s at his best and throwing strikes, Héctor Pérez can touch 99 MPH with his fastball that he will mix with a potentially above-average splitter that works in the low-to-mid 80’s. He will also show a slider in the 90 MPH range, but it’s been inconsistent in it’s shape over the years.

With a history or control problems it would seem that Héctor Pérez is likely a better fit in the bullpen than in the rotation unless he makes strides forward in his ability to consistently throw strikes. A more permanent move to the bullpen may allow him to pick up some extra velocity on his fastball and take it from a pitch that works in the mid-90’s to one that works a little higher than that. There’s also a chance that it could let him focus more on one of his two secondary offerings, which could develop it (whichever one) into a more consistent offering. The ability to find the strikezone would still need to improve a little bit if he’s going to find success in the big league bullpen, but you can get away with lesser control as a reliever than as a starter.

Career Stats

28 Responses

  1. TR1

    Be nice if player to be named was Joey Votto with about $40 million cash. Ha.

    • Dennis LaDow

      That would be nice, Votto should have been gone before now.

  2. Joe

    Send Joey back home to finish his career.

  3. DaveCT

    High spin rates and good velocity. I’m not certain but I may be detecting a pattern.

    • RichS

      About as certain as launch angle…which,by the way, assumes the batter can hit the ball!

    • Doug Gray

      I saw that Fangraphs noted he had above-average spin rates on his fastball while in the minors, and while we only have a small number of big league pitches to look at – at least the fastballs he threw this season in the Major Leagues – his fastball had well below-avearge spin. League average is around 2250 these days and he was at 2137 (take for example, the guys at the top like Bauer and Antone who are 2700-2800). Maybe it’s a different pitch than one he’s thrown in the past, and we don’t have public access to minor league trackman data. I didn’t mention it in this article, though, because the sample was small enough that I thought there could be some issues with the range of variance in it. I did look it up before writing though, because if it were a truly outlier type of pitch (say 2600+ RPM, or 1900 RPM), it would warrant a more detailed conversation.

  4. Hotto4Votto

    Well, the Reds had open spots on their 40-man, so why not take a chance on a project that can hit upper 90’s and has good spin rate. That seems to be in Boddy’s wheelhouse. Nothing wrong with making moves on the fringes of the roster when it isn’t going to cost much of anything. Still, I’d rather they tweak the fringes after figuring out who’s going to play SS.

  5. BK

    I also like 22-year old Humberto Castellanos, just DFA by the Astros.

    • SteveO

      Agree. Send the Astros cash for him. We still have some spots open on the 40 man roster

    • WBishop

      based on his stats, doubt he will be available for long. The team had better move quick…the Astors that flush w/ pitching, to let this guy go?

  6. GreatRedLegsFan

    There’re now 20 pitchers in the 40-man roster, from which 10 will for sure crack the active roster, so it’s going to be an interesting spring!

  7. Steven Ross

    This seals the deal. Thought about printing those playoff tickets right now but might be prudent to wait until summer to see things develop. Not that the Reds ever let me down.

  8. gusnwally

    Not a lot to get excited about. But, It looks like a move that could turn out nicely. He shows some good numbers off and on. Maybe we get lucky and develop a solid pitcher. And he is still plenty young.

  9. Scott C

    Every signing or trade so far this year by the Reds is basically a crap shoot. Maybe our pitching staff can fix them. Perhaps they are a diamond in the rough. None of these really make a difference until we sign a top tier shortstop. Didi, Semiens, Simmons, I don’t care. I would rather not see a trade for a shortstop but if that is what it takes then I wish they’d do it. Would be nice to have some hope going into spring training.

    • Earmbrister

      There doesn’t seem to be much movement on the FA SS market, so why drive the market? Let the market come to you. I agree we should go the FA route rather than trade for a SS, we just need to be patient.

      In the meantime, I’m all for giving our crack coaching staff a crack at a couple of lottery tickets.

  10. Doc

    A SS, though a benefit, will not be the difference between success and failure of this team. At least 5-6 other players playing to the back of the card is what will make the difference.

    • Roger Garrett

      That is exactly right Doc but unless those 5 or 6 change their approach at the plate,the shift to the pull side along with their all or nothing swings,the results will be the same as it has been.Personally I feel all have the ability to change,I just don’t think they will.

      • Doc

        Adding a SS won’t change your analysis, even if his name is Babe Ruth.

        I agree. The game was so much more fun to follow in the old days. Maybe the all or nothing approach is good for beer sales.

  11. Stock

    I am looking at the transactions the Reds have made the last year or so. Individually, they are nothing.

    Jose De Leon – Great arm but control and a substandard 3rd pitch have limited his success in the majors.
    Christian Roa – Good arm but control issues allowed him to drop to the 2nd round.
    Bryce Bonnin – Good arm but control issues allowed him to drop to the 4th Round.
    Joe Boyle – Great arm but major control issues allowed him to drop to the 5th round.
    Jeff Hoffman – Great arm but control has limited his success in the majors.
    Edgar Garcia – Great arm but control has limited his success in the majors.
    Hector Perez – Great arm but control has limited his success in the majors.

    I am noticing a trend. I am hoping Johnson/Boddy sees something that can be fixed that will enable these pitchers to improve their control.

    History says he has. The Reds have 7 pitchers (Stephenson, Lorenzen, Iglesias, Garrett, Gray, Castillo and Mahle) who throw 93+ mph. What have they done under Johnson/Boddy?

    The FB velocity on all 7 have gone up. 4 of the 7 by 1.5 mph +
    The K/9 on all 7 have gone up more than 13%. All but Mahle by at least 19%. Overall the K/9 for the 7 have gone from 8.4/9 IP to 10.7/9 IP
    K/BB has gone up at least 15% on 6 of the 7. Castillo is the exception. Overall the K/BB rate has gone from 2.4 to 3.1
    ERA has gone down for all but Mahle and Iglesias. Overall it went from 3.97 before Johnson/Boddy to 3.62 under Johnson/Boddy.

    Johnson/Boddy is doing something right. I am hoping he sees something in De Leon, Hoffman, Garcia and Perez that has the Reds staff more excited than their history indicates is expected

    I love what happened to Antone. I love they are predicting De Leon as a breakout and then he went to the winter leagues and bumped up his K% dramatically and his k/bb was 4. We will see what the coaching staff can do for these pitchers. Hopefully these trades that look like organization filler is more than that.

    Also hoping Boddy has seen he can increase the velocity of Ramirez’ fastball.

    • VaRedsFan

      This was very informative, thanks for digging up these nuggets.

    • Steelerfan

      Thanks for taking the time to put that together. Very interesting.

  12. Doc

    It is interesting to note that each of these Perez pitchers were acquired because the trade partner needed to free up a spot on the 40 man, meaning neither was a total lottery ticket. They were both felt to be good enough to protect.

    • Optimist

      Certainly a quantity leads to quality aspect to these transactions. Castillo being the exception, very unlikely any of these go from fringe to elite, but if a little more experience and coaching moves them from fringe to good, these will have very positive long-term effects.