There are a handful of rookie pitchers who caught my attention recently. In lieu of trying to cram everything into one article, I will highlight each one over the next few days.
Today I’m starting with the one that I ‘think’ I’m most bullish about. I suppose over the next few days, more starts, deeper dive into stats and some convincing arguments could have me thinking differently. Freddy Peralta.
History: A Dominican pitcher, Freddy was signed as an international free agent in 2013 at the age of 16 by the Seattle Mariners. He played with the Mariners rookie league that year with three wins and three losses, pitching just shy of eight Ks per nine innings with a robust 1.46 ERA. He stayed in the rookie league in 2014 and 2015 with his ERA struggling, his loss total rising BUT his strikeout total remaining strong—eclipsing 10.5 Ks per 9 innings in 2015.
In 2015 he was part of the Adam Lind trade going to the Brewers along with Daniel Missaki and Carlos Herrera. He worked his way up the Brewers organization to A & A+ (2016), AA (2017) and he made six starts at AAA earlier in 2018 going 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA partially due to an unlucky BABIP which was much higher than his career averages. Over the last three years he was able to bring his ERA down below 4.00 with K/9 averaging 12 strikeouts per 9 innings. He has kept his FIP beneath 3.10 at both Double-A and Triple-A, which is a good sign to me. Also, he averages 0.3 Home runs per nine innings. All signs from his recent time in the minors point to a strong prospect.
Freddy Peralta generated 18 swinging strikes on four-seam fastballs, the most for an NL pitcher this season. Only the Mariners' James Paxton has had more this year -- 20 on May 2 against the A's in the 16-strikeout game that preceded his no-hitter. pic.twitter.com/9QXyxQwB5P— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) May 13, 2018
Speaking of which, he came into his first start ranked the 10th best Brewers prospect. His inaugural start (as you may already know) was nothing short of amazing. He pitched on Sunday AT COLORADO (the most hitter-friendly park in the MLB) posting 13 strikeouts to two walks gathering the win with 5.2 innings pitched. Those strikeout totals are a franchise record for a first-time starter but as we will cover over the next few days, not the top first-time starter totals in the past 10 days. A fun side note: only four pitchers in franchise history have managed 13 strikeouts in ANY game. He allowed zero runs and the Brewers ultimately won 7-3. His next start is Saturday against the Minnesota Twins.
A beaming Freddy Peralta talks about getting to make his MLB debut Sunday in front of mom and dad, who have never seen him pitch a professional game. pic.twitter.com/NVb0sLBF5V— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) May 13, 2018
What you can expect going forward: Not 100% of what you saw Sunday but I’d say around 80% of it. The K/9 was much higher than normal, you can expect more around 7-8 strikeouts per outing to go with two issued walks. His innings pitched seems about right, he should see a handful of 6+ innings pitched but the Brewers are also not shy about pulling pitchers after four innings. He will not allow many home runs or at least he has kept that in check at every level up until now, we will see if it translates with the added power in the major leagues. He does allow a handful of hits, lately it’s been about a hit per inning, but he controls the situations well with batters on base. As he has advanced to each level it has and will become more difficult to not get damaged some by allowing a handful of batters on base and this is where his weakness might lie. His ERA and WHIP might become elevated compared to previous levels if he allows a few hits.
IF he plays out the remainder of the season, I am anticipating:
- 120 IP
- 10 wins
- 150 Ks (or around 11-12 Ks per 9)
- 55 BBs (or around 4 BBs per 9)
- 3.80 ERA
- 1.40 WHIP
I'm not sure I've ever seen a pitcher dominate a lineup with a fastball like I did today with Freddy Peralta vs. the Rockies.— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) May 13, 2018
5.1 IP - 13 Ks - 91% Fastballs - 19 Whiffs
Seriously, I can't think of another.
If he can sit around these time periods, he should have a solid spot in the lineup, Jhoulys Chacin, Chace Anderson and Zach Davies are all posting respectable numbers in the 1-3 spots on the depth chart, Brent Suter has been not as fortunate with a 5.14 ERA.
It is VERY early to get an accurate view of what he can become but he certainly has command to become a high ceiling prospect showing the right metrics along the way to succeed at the professional level. I will admit that in one league I dropped Tyler Skaggs to pick him up hoping on a higher ceiling (especially in wins and Ks).
Freddy, come on down, you’re the next contestant on The Price is Right, especially at just 17% owned. If you have a roster spot available I would recommend adding him. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t bottom out in his next 1-2 starts and get sent down.
Will he stay with the Brewers for at least five more starts?
This poll is closed