It’s not often that high school players drafted in the late, late rounds of the draft pan out, or even make immediate waves. But Miami Marlins scout John Hughes deserves credit for unearthing Noah Perio, whose at bat against Stephen Strasburg can be found here, in the 2009 draft.
Perio, 20, was nabbed in the 39th round that year, the 1,178th player taken at that point and walked away from a potential collegiate football career – he was ranked by ESPN as the 214th best high wide receiver in the nation, despite standing only 5-foot-11 and 158 pound – and signed for $150,000.
Obviously a tremendous all-around athlete, Perio is generally viewed as one of the better prospects in the Marlins system. John Sickels, Jonathan Mayo, and Baseball America rank him as the ninth, eighth, and eighth prospect in the organization. And Baseball Prospectus’s Kevin Goldstein placed him a touch lower, at number 11.
Perio’s framed has filled out a little bit since his days in high school. He stands an even 6-foot and 170 pounds.
While he doesn’t have any particular plus-tool, he does do everything well enough. He shows solid bat speed, developing power, 15 to 20 stolen base potential, and good contact skills. The only knock against Perio so far has been his lack of plate discipline: He’s walk only 36 times in 779 career plate appearances, a rate of 4.6%.
Last season with the Greensboro Grasshopper (A-ball), Perio hit .295/.323/.406, with 30 doubles, three triples, six homeruns and 15 steals. His overall offensive production, according to Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+), was just one percent below the league average. A solid showing considering he was two years younger than the average Sally League hitter. But, again, his walk rate – or lack thereof – was just 3.7%, nearly five percentage points below the league average, and among the league’s worst.
If he could bump up his walk rate closer to, say, the league average (approximately 8.0%), Perio could become a solid B-type prospect, with the ceiling 3.0 WAR player. If he doesn’t and it remains in close proximity to his current numbers, well, there’s not much that would separate him from a player like Kevin Frandsen, who’s bounced between the majors and minors with several clubs and now serves as nothing more than an organizational soldier.
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