Many baseball experts believe that the Brewers mortgaged the farm in order to get Zack Greinke, prior to the 2011 season. By trading away young arms, the Brewers seemed doomed to never recover. Destined to wander through a field of non-talented players. Minor league experts would have you believe that the Brewers farm system is one of the worst in baseball. Wily Peralta is a sublime example of why that is completely un-true.
Wily Peralta is a 22-year old right hander from the Dominican Republic. Wily, with one L, is a pretty big dude, tipping the scales at 6’2″ and 240 lbs. As he gets older he will have to be very conscious of his weight. As of this moment he is in great shape, but as he gets older that belly will become a problem. Just because he is big, does not mean that he needs to be fat. However, the kid does give off a C.C. Sabathia vibe when you see him on the mound. C.C. knows how to rock the belly, so maybe WP can do the same someday.
Peralta is one of the players I am most excited to watch play this spring. One L, has a very natural and fluid delivery. That is something that I like to see in a young pitcher. His delivery allows him to really pump up the heat on his fastball, which can tickle 97-98 mph. Standard range is about 93-95 on the gun. Thanks to that heat, WP is able to induce plenty of ground balls and strikeouts. That combo makes our boy a very solid future piece of the Brewers pitching rotation. Wily pairs the heat with a very nice slider and a vastly improved change-up. Which projects him as a solid #3 or 4 starter (at least in my opinion).
The reason that some of you may have never heard of Wily? Let’s just say that his control is not unlike that of a one Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn. Ok, it is not that bad, but it is still not good. Every season in the minors he has improved his walk numbers, but they are still not all that good. Plus he missed all of 2007 due to Tommy John surgery. So, that elbow has had some time to heal and build more muscle.
What really caught my eye with this kid, was his small stint at Triple-A Nashville this past season. In 5 starts with the Sounders, WP went 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA. That came complete with 40 strikeouts in 31 innings. The kid gets better at every level. Prior to making the move to Nashville, Peralta was 9-7 with a 3.46 ERA and 114 K’s. My guess is that his performance at the end of last season, will guarantee him a spot on the Sounders roster..if not the Major league club.
If Wily Peralta does make the Opening Day roster, it would most likely be in a bullpen role. In my opinion, that would be a waste of his talents. The rotation is set for this season and hopefully the bullpen will not get very much work this season anyway. By that logic, let the kid go down and start at Triple-A. If he is setting the place on fire, then you bring him up. When the team is in the NL Central hunt, a strong arm could be what pushes us over the top. I believe that One L Wily, could be that arm.
Spring Training will be here soon and we will have a better idea of what his role with the team will be. Something tells me that he could be the surprise of camp, like Erick Almonte was last year. Does anyone remember that? Almonte hit like .500 during Spring Training…I digress. It would be hard to ignore a young pitcher blowing people away all March long. Look for Wily Peralta to be a major part of this team in the future.