Oliver Perez: The Next Koufax?

Scott Boras is well known for the books he produces to sell his free agents to perspective buyers. This year, he may have even outdone himself. According to the New York Times, Boras’ book on Oliver Perez includes a chapter “One Of The Five Best Left-Handed Starting Pitchers.”

Seriously. Oliver Perez. Scott Boras actually wants people to take him seriously, and he’s calling Perez one of the five best lefty starters in the game. Scott, just a question, but which of these pitchers do you think Perez is better than?

CC Sabathia
Johan Santana
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels
Randy Johnson
Scott Kazmir
John Danks
Jon Lester
Mark Buehrle
Jamie Moyer
Joe Saunders
Andy Pettitte
Ted Lilly

No, really, I’d love to see the argument that Perez is better than any one of those 13, and those are just the guys where there’s absolutely no chance Perez is better. You can’t make a non-laughable case that Perez is better than any of those guys. You just can’t. There’s a litany of other guys with good arguments that they’re as good or better than Perez too, and in reality, he’s probably more like a top 25 LH starter

Perez is, at best, an average starting pitcher. His career FIP of 4.67 by his great season in 2003 that doesn’t look like it will ever be repeated. He’s one of the most extreme flyball pitchers in the game and his command sucks – he can only survive by racking up a ton of strikeouts, but those decline as a pitcher ages faster than command improves.

Forget the Sandy Koufax comparison – Boras will be lucky if Perez figures out how to become the new Ted Lilly, which is basically his best case scenario. Anyone spending money on Perez thinking that they’re getting a guy with a front of the rotation ceiling is fooling themselves – or being fooled by Scott Boras.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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Jason T
Jason T

I would love to get my hands on some of Boras’ books. What a read.