ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 26: Martin Perez #33 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 26, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Martin Perez is being counted on a ton this year for a guy that's going to be 22 years old when the season begins on March 31. He'll turn 23 before his second start of the year, but even still, he's got a ton of pressure on his young, inexperienced shoulders with Derek Holland out until July or August and Matt Harrison a question mark, as well.
Perez has shown the ability to have a good mental approach to the game and is coming off a great rookie year that was basically a half-season, which saw him go 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA and finish sixth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. His new catcher, J.P. Arencibia, who will serve as the Rangers' backup behind the plate in 2014, seems awfully excited about the Rangers' young lefty.
"He's got some crazy stuff," Arencibia told ESPN Dallas. "He's got some real, real good stuff. He's got it all. If he can pitch the way he's pitched and continue to grow and mature, he's definitely got some of the best stuff I've ever caught."
Arencibia caught some pretty good pitching in Toronto, and went on to say Perez's command, at least so far, is better than that of Ricky Romero, when he was an All-Star in 2011 with a sub-3.00 ERA.
If Perez, who is working on adding a cutter to his arsenal, is advancing like some, including Arencibia, say, the Rangers could be in for a treat in 2014.