Minors: Martin Perez healthy, ready for '11

April, 4, 2011
FRISCO, Texas -- LHP Martin Perez, who enters the season as the top-rated prospect in the Rangers' system according to ESPN, says a stint in Venezuela for the winter and progress during spring training has him confident and ready for 2011. That includes learning a 2-seam fastball, fine-tuning his mechanics and strengthening his back.

"One of the biggest issues last year was my back," Perez said, at Dr Pepper Ballpark for media day on Monday. "I really worked on getting that stronger."

Perez said the back, which he felt just go out on him one night last season, was the main cause of his drop in velocity for parts of 2010, where he went 4-8 with a 6.02 ERA for Double-A Frisco. It caused him to alter his mechanics some and he never got going again.

"I couldn't throw the same," Perez said. "It was 86 [mph] sometimes. Now I'm throwing 95 to 96 again."

Perez said he spent time over the winter learning a two-seam fastball and was confident enough to throw it during minor league games this spring.

"It's about 93 and was something I wanted to do," Perez said. "I showed it to the Rangers officials this spring and they told me to keep throwing it."

Perez, who also throws a 4-seam fastball, a curve and a changeup, said the mental side of the game has improved for him as well.

One thing I learned in Venezuela was not to go out and think about throwing seven innings or eight," Perez said. "I only worry about that one inning and then do it again."

Frisco manager Steve Buechele is expecting big things from the lefty.

"He threw better in spring training than I think he threw all of last year," Buechele said. "You can see the adjustments that he made and the improvement. I thoroughly expect him to keep improving. He’s a young kid with huge talent. It’s up to him and us to develop those talents and from what I’ve seen from the end of last season to now is an incredible improvement."

Perez is slated to start Friday's game in Frisco against the Springfield Cardinals. That's the club's second game of the season.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.


Elvis Andrus
.302 1 3 9
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 9
OPSS. Choo .830
WP. Figueroa 2
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23