Odalis Perez, a lefthanded pitcher who came up with the Atlanta Braves and spent ten years in the majors, died today after falling from a ladder, per reports. Perez was 44.
Perez was a top prospect at the end of the 20th century, placing in the top 50 of Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list heading into the 1999 season. Perez struggled as a rookie, then missed all of the 2000 season. After a decent comeback season in 2001, Perez was traded, along with Brian Jordan and Andrew Brown, to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Gary Sheffield.
Perez had his best seasons in Los Angeles, putting up a 3.55 ERA in 604 innings over 93 starts from 2002-04, accumulating 8.8 bWAR over that stretch and appearing in the 2002 All Star Game. Perez saw his production slide after that, splitting his time between the Dodgers, the Royals and the Nationals from 2005-08, with his final season being his age 30 season in 2008 with Washington.