Going into the beginning of fall practice, FSU had just three natural outfielders on their roster. Last season, outfield depth was an issue for FSU as Reese Albert missed nearly half of the season due to a shoulder injury and FSU had a revolving door of solutions that, for the most part, didn’t work out. Early in camp, the coaching staff moved many natural infielders and even catchers to the OF to patch the holes, but the staff realized they needed a more athletic player that could play anywhere in the OF.
Enter Isaiah Perry. IP is a junior out of Fort Lauderdale and St. Thomas Aquinas high school Perry began his college career at Texas Southern, before transferring to Santa Fe CC for his sophomore year. Perry was added to the FSU roster just before fall exhibitions started. The junior has a lanky frame, standing 6’0 and weighing just 170 pounds. The right-handed hitter didn’t see much action at Texas Southern, with just 17 at-bats in 21 games, but got the playing time he was looking for at Santa Fe CC.
In 49 games, the South Florida-native hit .256 and stole 15 bases. Perry saw his numbers surge after a slow start to the season, as he hit .306 in conference play. The OF puts pressure on the opponents with his elite speed. Perry has ran elite 60-times as fast as 6.3 seconds, as he glides with his long legs like JC Flowers. Mike Martin Jr. has harped on putting “pressure” on the opponent multiple times since he was hired and Perry is a guy that can fill that role. He showed that in the fall, laying down a bunt single and stealing a couple bags.
The outfielder also has some surprising pop in his bat, as he posted a .516 slugging percentage in 23 conference games last season. Perry also laced a couple baseballs over 90 MPH off his bat in fall exhibitions. Isaiah had a strong summer in the South Florida Collegiate league, as he hit .329 and stole 14 bags in 27 games. FSU’s leading base stealer in 2019, JC Flowers, stole 11 bases in 64 games for comparison. Perry has two years of eligibility remaining as he begins his career at FSU.
Isaiah Perry will not be an every day starter or someone that puts up huge numbers, but he has the ability to make an impact on this FSU season in many different ways. Perry could be used a pinch runner late in games. He could also be put in to lay down a bunt and force the defense into making a play. The JUCO transfer could also spell Robby Martin or other OF’s a day off as he can play any OF position at a high level. There aren’t many fly balls that will drop in his area. Perry may be the fastest player to step on Mike Martin Field in 2020, but freshman Tyrell Brewer may have a word to say about that.