At just 17 years old, Cardinals first round draft pick Delvin Perez has plenty of time to develop. Even so, it is never too early to check in with such a an overwhelming and promising talent.
Very rarely, a teenager is talented enough to catch they eyes of Major League scouts in a very serious way, flashing natural, raw talent to all who turn on the tape. In such cases, development is especially personal, as all prospects take different amounts of time to acquire the necessary polish and diligence to play professional baseball.
For a rare few, like the freakish Bryce Harper, development occurs at a rapid pace. For most, however, the development of professional skills and habits is deliberate, as organizations take time to fully optimize the potential of their prospects.
In this year’s Major League draft, the Cardinals opted to select Delvin Perez, an immensely talented 17-year-old shortstop from Puerto Rico. Still with a wiry 6’3″, 175 frame, Perez has much room to grow both physically and mentally. As such, the Cardinals will take their time with Perez, allowing him to increase both maturity and confidence in his journey through the minors.
Especially considering Perez’s questionable history regarding PED usage, the Cardinals will be both active and cautious with how they handle the personal development of a possibly All-Star caliber talent. Although he has publicly declared his regret and his subsequent dedication to a disciplined future, the Cardinals will strive to protect this late-round steal.
Delvin Perez has matched any hopes I could’ve had for him thus far. Where he will start the 2017 season will fascinate me.
— Peter Fleischer (@Peter_Fleischer) July 20, 2016
So far, the development of Perez is going smoothly. Whereas most promising prospects quickly move from rookie-ball to Short Season A, some prospects don’t require any rushing. With Perez, for example, the Cardinals have kept the young prospect in rookie-ball, hoping to acquaint him with more advanced pitching than they were used to.
In his first 25 games for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, Delvin Perez has seamlessly started his professional career. Specifically, Perez has hit .324 with 16 RBIs and 3 triples. Furthermore, Perez has taken advantage of lack-luster defensive catchers, stealing a solid 8 bases thus far in the season.
Though Perez is competing at the lowest possible professional level, the Cardinals should be impressed with the business like approach the young man has taken. The Puerto Rican phenom has showcased his potential in full, dazzling with athleticism and versatility.
In a way-to-early check-up on Perez’s development, he is passing with flying colors. Though his age and stature will most likely result in a prolonged development period, Perez has showed some incredible reason for hope. His commitment to consistency and playing sound baseball shows a maturity that perhaps on the Cardinals saw on draft day.
At the earliest stages of his hopefully long and healthy career, Perez is giving Cardinals fans a reason to smile.