Luis Perales identified by MLB Pipeline as having best fastball of any Red Sox pitching prospect

Luis Perales was recently identified by MLB Pipeline as having the best fastball of any Red Sox pitching prospect. The 19-year-old is currently regarded by the publication as the No. 13 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks fourth among pitchers in the organization.

The Red Sox originally signed Perales for $75,000 as an international free agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2019. Shortly after signing that summer, the hard-throwing right-hander was clocked at 95 mph with his heater.

Fast forward nearly four years later, and Perales is coming off a strong stateside debut in which he posted a 1.77 ERA and 3.24 FIP with 50 strikeouts to 20 walks in 13 appearances (11 starts) spanning 35 2/3 innings of work between the Florida Complex League and Low-A Salem.

Perales opened the 2022 minor-league season with Boston’s rookie-level affiliate and forged a 1.08 ERA (2.31 FIP) in eight outings (seven starts, 25 innings) before earning a promotion to Salem in late August. The Guacara native closed out the year by putting up a 3.37 ERA (5.44 FIP) over 10 2/3 innings with the Red Sox of the Carolina League.

On the heels of such an impressive campaign, it is not surprising to see that Perales was tabbed by MLB Pipeline’s Sam Dykstra as a potential breakout candidate within the Red Sox’ system heading into 2023.

“The 6-foot-1 right-hander was able to dominate the FCL and Salem in ‘22 because of his mid-90s heater that can touch 99 and features impressive ride at the top of the strike zone,” Dykstra wrote of Perales earlier this week. “[Red Sox director of player development Brian] Abraham mentioned in one extended game that 50 of Perales’ 60 pitches were fastballs, leading to only one hit and seven strikeouts over nine batters faced. He’ll need more than that if he’s going to leap in 2023, but the building blocks are there, especially with his mid-80s slider.”

Perales, who turns 20 next month, is expected to return to Salem for the start of the upcoming season. There, the 6-foot-1, 160-pounder will need to hone in on improving his command of the strike zone as he continues to adjust to more advanced competition in the minors.

“I think number one is slowing things down and really challenging the strike zone with the stuff he has,” Abraham said of Perales. “He has really good stuff. Now, we want him to challenge the strike zone, challenge hitters because it’s really hard to hit what he has. From there, it’s continuing to develop a slider and a changeup so he has a mix.”

(Picture of Luis Perales: Kelly O’Connor/


Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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