07/09/08 11:20 PM ET
Tigers agree to deal with top pick Perry
Former college reliever could be on fast track to Majors
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
Right-hander Ryan Perry, the 21st overall selection in the Draft, agreed to a contract with a $1.48 million signing bonus pending a physical on Thursday, a source familiar with the negotiation confirmed to MLB.com on Wednesday. Assuming the deal becomes final with medical results, he'll report to Class A Lakeland this weekend. From there, the former University of Arizona reliever could be on track for a September callup to the Majors.
The Tucson Citizen first reported the signing Wednesday morning.
"They basically have said they would like me to be in the big leagues by the end of the summer once the rosters are expanded [Sept. 1]," Perry told the paper. "I hope to get that nice little phone call."
The Tigers selected Perry, one in a series of college relievers to go in the middle to late portion of the first round, after a standout spring working out of the Arizona bullpen. The right-hander posted a 6-3 record and 2.89 ERA overall, but went 5-1 with an ERA around 1.50 once he moved out of the Wildcats' rotation and into relief exclusively just before midseason.
With a consistent mid-90s fastball that can touch as high as 98 mph to go with a power slider and an occasional changeup, Perry has what could be considered a power reliever's arsenal. The Tigers have a precedence for fast-tracking college pitchers for late-season callups out of the Draft, having done so with lefty Andrew Miller a couple years ago.
Scouting director David Chadd said upon drafting Perry that how he progresses as a pitcher would determine how quickly he rises through the farm system. Perry was a shortstop, not a pitcher, in high school and didn't convert until he arrived at Arizona.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.