Our ranking of the Top 50 Milwaukee Brewers of the 2010s marches on as we reach No. 47 on the countdown.
So far, through the first three names revealed on this countdown, we’ve seen three relief pitchers. The trend will continue with No. 47 on our top Milwaukee Brewers of the decade list.
How We Ranked Them
We created an initial list of the top players by combining their Fangraphs Total WAR from each year they were on the Brewers and ranking them from highest to lowest.
However, this wasn’t going to be list of simply who had the highest WAR while they were here and that’s it. So we adjusted the list based on postseason contributions, overall quality of player, and general importance to the franchise.
Our list continues.
47. RHP Freddy Peralta
Fastball Freddy, as he’s affectionately known, has been a key contributor for the Milwaukee Brewers over the past two seasons despite his youth. He made his big league debut as a 20 year old back on Mother’s Day 2018. He struck out 13 Colorado Rockies hitters and went 5.2 IP of scoreless, one-hit baseball.
That was just the first introduction to the stuff that Freddy Peralta has. Here’s the season total WAR numbers for his career.
2018: 1.2 WAR
2019: 0.9 WAR
Total WAR: 2.1
His second start in Minnesota didn’t go as well, giving up four runs in four innings, went back down to Triple-A, and then returned later in the year. His first start at Miller Park was a memorable one, going seven strong innings, allowing only one hit, no runs, and 10 strikeouts against the Royals.
Peralta would have an up-and-down first season in Milwaukee, making 14 starts and two appearances out of the bullpen. He’d have starts where he’d look unhittable, going deep into the game riding a shutout, and then have his next start be short, and he’d get knocked around the ballpark.
While the lack of consistency was frustrating, he did put up a 1.2 WAR that first year and found himself in the starting rotation to begin 2019.
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However, he struggled out of the gate this year. His first start was rough, gave up four earned runs in just three innings against the Cardinals. In Peralta’s second start however, he went eight shutout innings, giving up only two hits and striking out 11 against the Reds. Then his next three starts were poor and he mostly worked out of the bullpen after that.
Still just 22 years old, Peralta was up and down from Triple-A a couple of times this year but found a home in the bullpen as a high-leverage arm down the stretch. When working with a decent amount of rest, Peralta was more consistently pitching like “Good Freddy” than “Bad Freddy”. When he’s “Good Freddy”, he’s nearly unhittable. When he’s “Bad Freddy”, he’s awful. There’s very little in between.
Originally acquired from the Seattle Mariners in the Adam Lind trade as a teenager, Peralta is the only player of that three prospect package that has arrived in the big leagues and even turned himself into any sort of prospect. When getting three teenage pitchers like they did, the Brewers knew they were all lottery tickets, hoping they would get a hit. They got that hit with Peralta, who almost feels like a homegrown player.
Peralta will likely get another opportunity to earn a spot in the rotation next spring, but he needs a third pitch to arrive before he’ll see consistent, long term success in the rotation. When he’s on, he has no-hitter type stuff. Back when he was sitting 93-94 with his fastball, scouts were saying it played like a 97-98 MPH fastball. Now he’s actually sitting 97-98, and it’s looking like it’s over 100 MPH to hitters with his deceptive delivery.
If he can find consistency in his results, he’s going to move up much much higher for the list of the best Milwaukee Brewers of the 2020s. But for now, he comes in at No. 47 in our list of the Top Brewers of this decade.
There’s so much upside and talent in that right arm of Peralta’s, and if the Brewers can harness it, they’re going to have one amazing pitcher.