Sep 25, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (33) throws during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

A look at LHP Martin Perez

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Sep 25, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (33) throws during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers called up Martin Perez a few times in 2012, but by June  of 2013 Martin Perez established himself as a quality starter.   With the absence of Derek Holland for at least a third of the season, the Texas Rangers will be expecting big things out of their 22 year old lefty again.

“I like when I’ve got a lot of expectations because I think everyone is looking to me and it means I’m doing better,” Perez said. “I don’t have pressure now. I have more experience and (I) just have to work hard and do my job.”  (Richard Durett-ESPNDallas.com)

Martin didn’t get to start the 2013 season due to a broken wrist he suffered in an exhibition game.

Last season Perez had a record of 10-6 with and ERA of 3.62 over 20 starts.  During the offseason, Jon Daniels made sure to lock up the lefty with a 4 year deal worth $12.5 million that includes options through 2020.  It may seem like a long commitment for a young left-handed pitcher, but Martin Perez has been on of the Texas Rangers top prospects and they expect him to continue to develop.

Perez features a two-seam and four-seam fastball, slider, changeup and a good curveball.   His four-seam fastball averages near the mid 90s, and  his two-seam is a little slower in the low 90s. His changeup and his slider both average 85 mph, while his curveball is in the high 70s.  Against, right-handed batters he typically uses his change up early in the count, and is usually very effective with it.  Against left-handed batters, he’ll use his slider more than his changeup.  For the 2013 season, he posted a .267 opposing batting average.

During the Texas Rangers award banquet, Martin Perez was awarded the Texas Rangers Rookie of the Year honor.

Last season Perez had a strikeout ratio over 9 innings of 6.1, which isn’t great, but it was effective enough to get the job done.  The issue with his low strikeot ratio is that he’s primarly been a contact pitcher.  Which isn’t always bad, as long as the outs are recorded.  His worst stat was with 2 outs with RISP, he had an opposing batting average of .294.  Also, Perez does cause a swing miss ratio on 10.5% of his pitches which did help his strikeout ratio.

For 2014, if Martin Perez is able to be more effective with two outs and create more strike outs, he should see better stats and possible a lower WHIP overall.   Perez has said that he has been working on getting more out of his curveball and will try to use it more this season.  His goal is to be less of a contact pitcher and record the strikeouts.

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