Feb 26, 2023; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Houston Astros third baseman Joe Perez (31) catches a pop fly in foul territory in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to Gallery Sports’ Houston Astros Spring Training player spotlight, Astros Player of the Day. We will look at a different Astros player each day throughout spring training.
Today’s Astros Player of the Day is infielder Joe Perez.
A second-round pick of the Astros in 2017, Perez appeared in a Major League game before ever appearing in a Double-A game. As the only healthy minor league position player on the Astros’ 40-man roster, Perez made two brief appearances with the Astros in 2022, the first came when Yuli Gurriel was placed on the paternity list, and the second was a result of Yordan Alvarez landing on the COVID IL.
Perez struck out in his only Major League at-bat and slashed .196/.281/.275 in Corpus Christi before an oblique injury shut him down for close to two months, but he finished the season strong and put up a 1.192 OPS after an eight-game promotion to Triple-A Sugar Land at the end of the season.
After undergoing Tommy John surgery in high school, Perez spent his first two professional seasons in short-season ball. He has pop from the right side, but it resulted in just six home runs over 84 minor league games in 2022, but that could be a result of the oblique injury because Perez homered 18 times in 106 games in 2021.
Defensively, Perez has primarily played third base, where he made 21 errors last season. He has also played first base, both corner outfield spots, and one game at second base, but a lack of foot speed will likely keep him at one of the corner infield spots.
Still just 23, Perez will likely start the season in Sugar Land, where he’ll get an opportunity to grow.