Meet Ryan Perez, Westminster Christian's freshman switch-handed pitcher
Written by:sduncan 2/3/2009 9:33:00 AM
The rarest of talents recently attended a Prep Baseball Report Underclassmen Showcase, Meet Ryan Perez, a 5-foot-11, 150-pound
freshman from Westminster Christian, a Class 1A parochial school in Elgin. Perez will never be forgotten at the PBR headquarters
after he brought two mitts to the mound and proceeded to throw freshman cheddar with either arm.
When Ryan Perez’s showcase registration spat out of our fax machine, Jessie immediately called it to my attention.
“This kid says he’s a switch hitter AND a switch pitcher,” announced Jessie, who’s essentially PBR’s
director of everything.
I didn’t pay it much mind. The kid was only a freshman and probably filled out the sheet wrong, I told her.
And that was that. That is, until Ryan Perez showed up to the Prep Baseball Report’s Underclassmen Showcase on
February 1. Perez looked like your typical freshman. He stood 5-foot-11, weighed 150 pounds, basically nothing extraordinary
When it came time for Perez to pitch, he brought two mitts to the mound. Hmm … Perez, who attends Westminster Christian
in Elgin, began throwing left-handed. He topped out at 81 mph - pretty darn good for a freshman – and had a solid feel
for his changeup and curve. Then he switched mitts. OK, this might be interesting, but likely a bad experiment born from an
afternoon of catch in his front yard last summer.
Perez began throwing right-handed. He showed the same exact motion, very similar arm action. He topped out at 80 mph –
pretty darn good for a freshman – and again had a solid feel for his offspeed pitches.
In our five years of doing this, we’ve never seen a switch-pitcher before. Even more remarkable was he performed equally
well from both sides. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. His video will be posted soon in the Player Video Center.
But Perez didn’t stop there. He also took two sets of infield testing – one right-handed, one left-handed –
and of course he switch-hit as well.
Perez’s development in the next three years should be tracked carefully. He possesses a rare talent, and once he physically
develops and continues to improve, he could be the ultimate recruiting coup for a college: a two-for-one pitcher.