Today we take a look at Brewers starting pitcher, Wily Peralta. The 25-year-old is expected to be a member in the Brewers’ rotation for years to come, and so far, he’s thrived as a starter.
To date, Peralta leads Brewers starters in ERA and the entire National League in wins. While wins are hardly indicative of individual performance in the ways that other metrics are, Peralta has garnered Cy Young attention as a result.
Peralta was a top prospect for the Brewers for a few years prior to his first full year with the club last season. Previously projected as a back-of-the-rotation starter due to command problems, Peralta has made a good case as a middle of the rotation guy down the road, with his ceiling being slightly higher.
Wily has largely cut down his walk rates since his time in the minor leagues, where he averaged a 4.0 BB/9 over 6 seasons. This year, Peralta’s rate has dropped significantly to 2.6, also besting his 3.6 BB/9 average in the Majors from 2012-2013.
This has helped contribute to a lower WHIP, 1.280 this year after posting a 1.418 WHIP last season. This control is impressive, as Peralta has the fourth highest fastball velocity in the league, and command and power rarely work so well in tandem.
Perhaps surprising is Wily’s low K-rate despite being a power pitcher, but he pitches to contact more than the average flamethrower, and he ranks in the top 15 in groundball percentage.
Wily, like many of his cohorts in the Brewers rotation, has excelled in terms of quality starts, and is tied (10th) with many pitchers with 17 quality starts. This is in large part due to a strong second half, in which Peralta has posted a 1.88 ERA over 6 starts (5 quality).
Despite his strong season, Peralta has struggled against lefty batters, who are hitting .303 against the power pitcher. Peralta has posted a much more impressive .209 average against his fellow righties. For his career, Peralta’s splits are more even, and a regression toward the mean should be expected.
Peralta is one of the Brewers youngest current starters, and will not be a free agent until 2019 at the earliest. As mentioned in the post on Matt Garza, current veterans Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse could both be out of Milwaukee following the 2015 season, and Peralta will be needed as a staple in the rotation.
Peralta’s season thus far as been encouraging, and he has improved greatly from a promising year in 2013. He has helped keep the Brewers in the top 10 in ERA, and should remain a Brewer for many more seasons.