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PETE PEREZ HEADING TO ATL

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By Michael Cruz

Pete Perez (photo courtesy of Southern Illinois Miners)

Pete Perez (photo courtesy of Southern Illinois Miners)

Born: 12/8/1990
Birthplace: Hagatna, Guam
Resides: Sacramento, California
College: Tarleton State
Height: 5’11
Weight: 225
Bats: Right
Throws: Right (90 plus mph fastball)
Favorite Chamorro Food: Chicken Kelaguen

Pete Perez of Hagatna, Guam will be heading to Atlanta, Georgia this Sunday to start preparing for Spring Training with the Atlanta Braves in late February. Pete Perez and Trae Santos could be playing Single A ball or higher. 2013 has shaped up to be a banner year for Guam baseball. This marks the first time two players from Guam have signed a major league contract in the same year.

Time on Guam

Pete was born on Guam and started playing baseball at five. His dad started throwing him socks and small baseballs. The young Perez would watch pitcher Barry Zito and then emulate it into his own game. Growing up he was taught the importance of respect from his parents Pete and Renee Perez. He played baseball together with Trae Santos and both of their dads are good friends. At the age of 12 the talk of him coming to the States for baseball and school was a possibility.

Perez recalls, “The idea of it was my dads, he asked if I would like to go to California to go to school and play baseball. When I agreed with it my parents had to talk about it and both agreed with me to move at a young age”.

California Dreaming

(courtesy photo)

(courtesy photo)

By age 14, Pete Perez was relocated to Sacramento, California and was living with his uncle. His parents stayed in Guam, allowing him to pursue his baseball career. Perez played his varsity baseball at River City High School in West Sacramento. His two year record as a right-handed pitcher was 7 wins and 8 losses and he posted a 4.50 ERA.

He started his college career at nearby American River College. He pitched for the Beavers during the 2009 and 2011 season. Perez appeared in 15 games and started eight in 2009. Was second on team with 27 strikeouts. Held opponents to a .295 average. Played in eight games and started six in 2011. Led team with 37 strikeouts and posted a 4.50 ERA.

Gone Country

Perez sought out Abilene Christian University to play baseball. When the door was closed on that opportunity, one of Perez’s friends recommended conference rival Tarleton State. He moved to Stephenville, Texas a place more known for high school football than college baseball. Pete flourished in his last two years of college. In 2012 led the Texans with eight wins in 13 starts. Recorded a team best 2.06 ERA. Had 83 strikeouts in 91.2 innings of work, while walking just 19 batters. Opposing batters hit just .194 off him.

He was a First-Team All-Lone Star Conference Selection. In 2013, Pete had 53 strikeouts in 63 innings pitched, five wins in seven starts, posted a 2.43 ERA, and again made First Team All Conference. The Texans also won their first LSC conference title. They also won 6 out of 9 games in two years against Abilene Christian. Along the way he educated his teammates about Guam.

Pete said, “Guam is my home and I’m proud to be a part of the Chamorro culture and have the chance to let people know where I’m from and let them see that hard work does pay off and I get the chance to not only represent my family but my island”.

Next Level

(courtesy photo)

(courtesy photo)

Pete Perez signed a contract on June 28, 2013 with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League and finished with four wins in seven starts. The season concluded September 5, 2013. On October 9, 2013 he became a member of the Atlanta Braves’ farm system.

Peter Perez stated, “My family, mom, dad, brothers, and sister. Without them none of this could happen, they stuck with me for everything ups and downs especially the downs. Also my grandparents they were also there from day one and I know they are proud of me no matter how I do on that field and also my Uncle Ray who took me in and treated me like I was his own.They all have a big part in this and are one of the biggest reasons I keep pushing myself day in and day out”.

Pete has spent the last few months in Stephenville, Texas. He has kept busy lifting weights, working on pitching mechanics, running extra miles, and even worked a night job. Perez stated, “I’m in shape and prepared for whatever is asked of me”. He plans on finishing his bachelor’s degree in the offseason.

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