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Atlanta Braves Top 30 Prospects: No. 10, Carlos Perez

10. Carlos Perez, LHP
B/T: L/L 2011 Age: 20 Ht: 6'2" Wt: 195
2010: (Rk) 6 G, 6 GS, 32 IP, 1.12 ERA, 14 BB, 27 K, 0 HR
(A-) 2 G, 2 GS, 7 IP, 9 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Carlos Perez was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, receiving a nice sum and completely avoiding the Dominican Summer League. Therefore, he was one to watch as he began his career in 2009, and he has not disappointed at such a young age.

Perez had a 5.28 ERA in 30.2 innings for the Gulf Coast League in 2009, but he pitched better than the ERA showed, and it's tough to take anything from this at 17 years old. He started 2010 at Danville, where he posted a 5.6 H/9 and 7.6 K/9. Despite the ERA, the numbers aren't overwhelming, but again, you can't take much from the sample size and the fact that he's 18. He got two starts at A- Rome before his season ended due to injury, but it's nothing to consider going forward.

Perez has a fastball in the low-90s that touches mid-90s, a solid curveball and developing changeup. The fastball is the only developed pitch at this point, but with time his curve will become his out pitch. Looking at it right now, his changeup will develop enough to become a reliable third offering. As he grows and develops, Perez should hit mid-90s with the fastball, get enough feel for the curve to make it a plus pitch and have a changeup that is more than just a show-me pitch.

Like most from the DR, Perez is tall and lean, and he has plenty room to grow. He doesn't project to have a strong lower half, and durability could be a concern in the future. His first full season at A- Rome in 2011 could tell the story.

Perez's 2011 season (19 years old at A- Rome) will be one of the most anticipated in the Braves system. A ceiling is impossible to predict until after a full season, but right now it's not unreasonable to say his stuff can project as at least a mid-rotation starter. Come back in a year and I may be upping that to number one or two type potential.

Three Things to Look For in 2011: 1) Full Season Debut 2) Curveball 3) Durability
Destination in 2011: All at A-
ETA: 2014

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.