By Jerry Del Priore
The Kansas City T-Bones acquired infielder Noah Perio Jr. from the St. Paul Saints on July 8 in exchanged for fellow infielder Zach Walters. Little did the team know that the move would pay tremendous dividends.
After going six-for-18 against the Saints in the American Association Championship series, in which Kansas City won – three games to one – the league named Perio Jr. Most Valuable Player (MVP).
The six-foot-one, 195-pound California native slugged two home runs, five RBI and three doubles in the best-of-five series.
He helped the club get off to a crucial quick start in the series opener, stroking 3-for-6 with two dingers, including a two-run shot in the first inning of the T-Bones’ 11-4 win.
In game three, Perio Jr. laced two doubles, and added another two-bagger and a RBI in KC’s 5-3 title-clinching victory.
Perio Jr. enjoyed a great two-week run to end the campaign, amassing 28 RBI, which bled into the playoffs. In the Southern Division series, he worked two big walks and scored in both at-bats of a 5-2 game three win over the Explores.
Perio Jr. hit .297 for the season with the T-Bones with eight home runs and 57 RBI, tying for the club-lead with Keith Curcio.
The Florida Marlins selected Perio Jr. in the 39th round of the 2009 MLB June amateur draft. He spent parts of six seasons with the Marlins organization, reaching as high as AA Jacksonville. He then played in 2015 with Sioux City Explores before joining the Dodgers system in 2016, where he again made the AA level.
He once again landed with Sioux City in 2016. In 2017, he spent the entire season at AA San Antonio in the Texas League (AA) with the San Diego Padres organzation before returning to Independent ball in 2018, inking a contract with St. Paul.