Former Playoff Nemesis, Infielder Noah Perio, Joins Saints in 2018
ST. PAUL, MN - The St. Paul Saints and Sioux City Explorers had record setting seasons in 2015. It was infielder Noah Perio who proved to be a thorn in the side of the Saints during their first-round playoff series. Perio, a Post-Season All-Star that season, had the game winning RBIs in both Games 1 and 4 as the Explorers downed the Saints three games to one. The Saints signed the veteran infielder on Monday, their first free agent signing for the 2018 season.
The 26-year-old Perio spent all of last season at Double-A San Antonio in the San Diego Padres organization. He hit a solid .281 with four home runs and 36 RBI in 112 games. In 430 at bats he scored 53 runs, ripped 15 doubles, four triples, a .330 on base percentage and a .363 slugging percentage. The left-handed hitter had nearly even splits between lefties and righties, hitting .283 vs. LHP and .281 vs. RHP and he closed the season strong, hitting .344 over the final 25 games of the season. He helped guide the Missions to the playoffs where he hit .273 in a three games to two loss to Midland in the semi-finals.
Perio began his career straight out of high school where he was a 39th round draft pick by the Florida Marlins in the 2009 First Year Player Draft from De La Salle (CA) High School. After playing four games at the Gulf Coast level in 2009, he went 2-4 in the playoffs where his team made it to the Championship Series, but lost to the GCL Nationals two games to none in the finals.
He continued to move up the Marlins organizational ladder, spending all of 2010 at Low-A Jamestown before having a monster season in 2011. He spent the entire season with Single-A Greensboro and hit .323 with six home runs and 52 RBI in 119 games. In 488 at bats he scored a career high 76 runs, smacked a career high 30 doubles, three triples, swiped 15 bases, with a .323 on base percentage and .406 slugging percentage. He finished third in the South Atlantic League in hits and eighth in batting average. He helped guide the Grasshoppers to the South Atlantic League Championship, hitting .316 with seven RBI in seven games. He finished tied for second in the playoffs for most hits (12), third in RBI and sixth in average.
Perio spent all of 2012 at High-A Jupiter and once again got back to the playoffs where the Hammerheads lost three games to two in the Florida State League Championship Series to the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
He entered the 2013 season as the #14 ranked prospect in the Marlins organization by MLB.com. In 2013 Perio split time between Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville. Between the two stops he hit .236 with a home run and 30 RBI.
In 2014 Perio played one final year in the Marlins organization, with Jupiter, before becoming a free agent and signing with the Explorers in the American Association for the 2015 campaign. He tore up the league by hitting .316 with career highs for home runs (7) and RBI (74). He played all 100 games and in 408 at bats he scored 61 runs, ripped 29 doubles, four triples, had a career high 18 stolen bases, struck out just 26 times, had a .345 on base percentage and a .458 slugging percentage. Perio led the American Association in hits, most games at shortstop (99), most put outs by a shortstop (157), most double plays by a shortstop (62), tied for first in games played and second in at bats and doubles. He had a 15-game hitting streak from May 30-June 15 and topped that with a 17-game hitting streak from July 12-August 2. Perio was selected as a Post-Season All-Star at shortstop.
Perio picked up where he left off in 2016 hitting .338 with three home runs and 36 RBI in just 35 games with the Explorers before his contract was purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers organization on June 26. He was assigned to Single-A Great Lakes and hit .288 with a home run and nine RBI in 20 games before being promoted to Double-A Tulsa. After seven games with the Drillers, Perio finished the season at High-A Rancho Cucamonga where he hit .355 with six home runs and 24 RBI and a .999 OPS in 30 games. The Quakes made the playoffs that season, but lost in the first round, two games to one to the Lancaster JetHawks.
Overall Perio has reached the playoffs in seven of his nine seasons of professional baseball and won one championship. He's also struck out in just 10.9% of his plate appearances throughout his career. According to FanGraphs a strikeout percentage of just 10% is considered excellent.
Perio is the first free agent signing of the 2018 off-season.
The Saints begin the 2018 season on the road against the Gary SouthShore Railcats on Friday, May 18. The Saints first game at home is on Monday, May 21 against the newest member of the American Association, the Chicago Dogs, at 3:05 p.m.
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American Association Stories from February 5, 2018
- Wichita Adds Talented Southpaw to Staff - Wichita Wingnuts
- Former Playoff Nemesis, Infielder Noah Perio, Joins Saints in 2018 - St. Paul Saints
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