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Astros promote lefty Cionel Perez

Cuban pitching prospect on the way to Houston

Houston Astros Photo Day Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Late last night Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reported that the Houston Astros will promote left-handed pitcher Cionel Perez to the major leagues:

Perez is one of the brighter lights blazing in the deep firmament of the Astros farm system. He ranked sixth on the pre-season Houston Astros Top 20 Prospects for 2018 list with this comment:

6) Cionel Perez, LHP, Grade B: Age 21, signed out of Cuba in 2016, posted combined 4.13 ERA with 83/27 K/BB in 94 innings between Low-A, High-A, and Double-A; scouting reports are better than the numbers, focusing on low-90s fastball, both curveball and change-up flash plus; I think his general “throw strikes” control is ahead of his “hit spots” specific command but a breakthrough in 2018 seems plausible; durability the main concern. ETA 2019.

His performance for Double-A Corpus Christi accelerated the timetable. In 57 innings over 10 starts and four relief appearances, he’s posted a 2.20 ERA with a 71/21 K/BB and just 47 hits allowed.

Reports from the Texas League indicate that his fastball has kicked up a bit, timed as high as 96, and he’s added a nice slider to go with his curveball and change-up. Obviously the statistics are good. The main concern is durability, as he’s just 5-11, 170 plus there have been some concerns in the past about his elbow.

Assuming good health he profiles as a number three starter down the line.