10 August 2012
The Los Angeles Times has reported today that the Diamondbacks have signed right-handed pitcher Felipe Perez, who was about to begin his freshman season at UCLA. Perez was rated as the #129 Draft Prospect by Baseball America heading into the June draft, and was projected to have the talent to go in the first five rounds. But signability concerns caused him to go undrafted - in fact, he was BA's highest rated player to go undrafted. The collective bargaining agreement classified Perez as a free agent since he was not drafted, and the Diamondbacks signed him for $400,000.
Perez pitched for a small high school, Fairmont Prep, in Anaheim, CA, and did not face very strong competition. In just 48.1 IP, he struck out 89 batters while walking only 7. Scouts say he has excellent character, and is very bright. His fastball is in the 88-91 mph range, with good projection for increased velocity. Perez already has good command with his fastball, and he has a promising curveball and changeup.
The Diamondbacks were $113,500 under budget for their 2012 Bonus Pool Spending, prior to the Perez signing. Any amount over $100K counts against the pool, so by signing Perez for $400K, $300K counts towards the bonus pool. The Diamondbacks are now $187K over the pool, but that is OK. Teams that exceed the bonus pool by 5% would lose their 1st round pick in 2013, but the team stayed below that amount by $4415. The Diamondbacks will just have to pay a 75% fine for the amount they exceeded their cap, which comes out to a penalty of around $140K. Not a bad price to pay to get another top talent into the farm system.