The Tri-City ValleyCats season ended on Sunday, but Nate Perry’s baseball season isn’t quite done yet.
Perry, a 2017 Bassett High School graduate, has been with the ValleyCats, the rookie league affiliate of the Houston Astros in Albany, New York, all season, but during the team’s regular season finale on Sunday he was told by his manager he would be moving up in the Astros’ system. Perry bypassed low-A ball, and will join Houston’s high-A affiliate, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, for the Woodpeckers’s Carolina League playoff run.
Perry was pulled mid-game from the ValleyCats Sunday.
“I just hit the ball and came back in the dugout and Guillen said, ‘How’d you like that swing?’” Perry told the Times Union newspaper from Albany, New York. “I said, ‘Not too good. I got out.’ And he said, ‘Well, I think you’re going to like this information better. You’re going to Fayetteville.’”
“I’m happy for him,’’ ValleyCats manager Ozney Guillen told the Times Union. “He deserved it. We’ve talked about him a lot so hopefully he enjoys the playoffs with them and can help them out. I’m glad Nate is able to showcase what he’s doing.”
Perry told the Bulletin back in June his goal for the year was to move up in the Astros’s system, and had hoped to be playing in Davenport, Iowa with Houston’s low-A affiliate, the Quad Cities River Bandits, by the end of the season. Skipping Iowa and moving to high-A was even better.
Perry will now be playing closer to home than he’s been since getting drafted in 2017. Fayetteville is just under three hours from Bassett.
The Woodpeckers are scheduled to begin play in the Carolina League Mills Cup playoffs at home today at 3 p.m. against the Down East Wood Ducks. With Hurricane Dorian headed up the coast, Wednesday has become a doubleheader, with Game 2 of the 5-game series scheduled to begin immediately following Game 1.
Game 3 of the series will be played on Friday at the Wood Ducks’s home in Kinston, North Carolina at 7 p.m. If necessary, Games 4 and 5 will also be in Kinston on Saturday at 6 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Perry finished the season with Tri-City hitting .244 in 67 games. He had a team-high 12 home runs, third most in a season in team history. He added 35 RBIs, 57 hits, 11 doubles, and 36 walks, all career highs. He was once named New York-Penn League Player of the Week, and was named MVP of the league’s all-star game.
The winner of the Fayetteville/Down East series will take on the winner of a series between the Salem Red Sox and the Wilmington Blue Rocks for the Carolina League championship. The 5-game series will begin on September 10.
Cara Cooper is the sports editor of the Martinsville Bulletin. You can reach her at (276)638-8801 ext. 241.