PHOENIX AZ - FEBRUARY 18: Pitcher Wily Peralta #73 of the Milwaukee Brewers listens to coaches during a MLB spring training practice at Maryvale Baseball Park on February 18 2011 in Phoenix Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Every Monday I will be taking an in-depth look at a player who could potentially get called up to the Majors this year, and could be useful to fantasy owners as a result. In some cases, it could a top prospect (like today's), and in other cases it could be a player in the minors who would benefit from an opportunity in the bigs, especially if an injury or trade occurs. You can take a look at the previous reports below:
Today's prospect is actually one who was just called up late last week, and who could get a shot to take over a rotation spot for the Brewers due to the Chris Narveson injury. That prospect is right handed pitcher Wily Peralta.
Weight: 240 lbs.
Age at End of 2012 Season: 23
On 25-Man Roster: Yes
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2005, the Brewers were actually extremely aggressive with Peralta, sending him to their Rookie League affiliate in Arizona for his professional debut in 2006, despite being just 17 years old. Extremely raw, he gave up 28 earned runs in 38 innings pitched, struck out 28 and walked 20. Peralta missed the entire 2007 season after having Tommy John surgery, and was sent to short-season Rookie ball in 2008. He pitched much better there, posting a 3.07 ERA and 36 strikeouts against just 8 walks in 29 1/3 innings. He finished up that season by making two starts for the Brewers' low-A affiliate in the Sally League, but threw just 5 innings.
He spent the full season in 2009 in Low-A, making 27 appearances (15 starts), and notching 118 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings pitched. The walks were a bit concerning, as he posted a rate of 4 per 9 innings that year. Despite that, his overall performance was solid, and the team moved him up to High-A Brevard County to start the 2010 season. His strikeout rate dropped there, but his walk rate did as well (75 K, 40 BB in 105 IP) and was moved up to AA Huntsville for 8 starts to finish out the season. His ERA didn't reflect it (3.61) his struggles with control (29 K/24 BB in 42 IP), and he ended up repeating AA to start 2011.
Peralta really consolidated his gains in 2011, as he both improved his strikeout rate and his walk rate over 119+ innings at AA. He finished out last season by making 5 starts for AAA Nashville, he struck out 40 and walked just 11 in 31 innings. He was originally sent to AAA to start the season this year, but was called up last week after Kameron Loe was placed on the bereavement list.
What's Stopping Him From Contributing Right Now?
As of right now, it appears that Peralta is up solely to provide emergency long relief while Loe is on the bereavement list. Realistically, the Brewers have decided to use Marco Estrada in the short term to help replace the injured Chris Narveson. If Estrada struggles, we could see Peralta back up to take his shot at the starting rotation spot.
His control does concern me a bit, as he has never posted a walk rate below 3 per 9 innings, but it basically seems like it would keep him from being a high-end starting pitcher. That could definitely be something that the team wants him to continue to work on at AAA.
What Could He Do When He Gets Into That Role?
Peralta seems to me like he could be a solid contributor for all NL-only leagues and deeper mixed leagues (12-team or larger). He will likely provide a solid amount of strikeouts (somewhere between 7 and 9 per 9 innings), but it could come at a cost of an elevated WHIP (1.35+ potentially?). Until he ends up in the starting rotation, he's not worth owning.
When Does He Seem Likely To Get There?
Well, half the battle is getting up to the Majors, and Peralta has already been called up. The team appears to be planning on sending him back to AAA when Kameron Loe returns from the bereavement list, but I would imagine that he could be up again at some point during the season. The injury of Chris Narveson makes it sound like there could be a spot for the season open in the rotation, and I think we will find Peralta in the role by midseason.