Freddy Peralta is amidst a hot start to the 2021 season. He is continuing to develop into a legitimate top-of-the-rotation stud for the Brewers. It’s time to recognize that.
Freddy Peralta won the final starting rotation spot out of Spring Training and is displaying a brand new, expanded repertoire. The Brewers rotation is off to a historic start, and Freddy Peralta is a key contributor to that.
Corbin Burnes is getting a lion’s share of the attention, because he is the best pitcher in baseball, but it’s time to show Freddy Peralta some love, too.
At only 24 years old, Peralta is the youngest member of the Brewers rotation. Through 2 starts and one relief appearance, Peralta has pitched 13 innings, with 24 strikeouts, a 0.69 ERA, and a 1.08 WHIP. His velocity has been up as well.
Part of the expanded success Peralta is seeing includes his expansion of pitches. He is no longer Fastball Freddy, instead, he is Four-Pitch Freddy, boasting a 4-seam fastball, a slider, a changeup, and a curveball.
The curveball and slider have made appearances in 2020, but the changeup is back after not being seen since 2019.
Freddy Peralta’s nasty slider
The slider, however, is the pitch that is quickly becoming one of his favorites to throw. In 2020, the slider was thrown only 4.8% of the time, it now has been thrown 38.8% of the time in 2021.
The slider has also become one of Peralta’s most effective pitches. He has recorded 14 strikeouts with it, has allowed just one hit with it. In fact, he has an xBA of .066 on his slider. He also has recorded a whiff% of 60.0% with it. Whatever changes he’s made are working.
His slider has changed from 2020. It is now moving much more horizontally, and less vertically, going from 7.1 inches of horizontal movement, all the way up to 14.6 inches of horizontal movement. His vertical movement has fallen from 43.7 inches down to 39.9 inches.
Right now, the biggest issue that Freddy is facing is his BB%. That is something that he has battled his entire career, but it has jumped even more to 17.6%. That is up from 9.6% last year. While his BB% has gone up, his K% has as well.
It has jumped 9.5% up to 47.1% from 37.6% in 2020, which was already up from 30.1% in 2019. He is figuring out how to strike more batters out, and now as Four-Pitch Freddy that may be even more the case.
Four-Pitch Freddy is now the third-best pitcher in the Brewers rotation. We thought he could become that by the end of the season, but Peralta appears to be clinching that early on in the season. He very well could be the best by the time he reaches his full potential.
As of right now, Freddy Peralta is the third best pitcher in the Brewers rotation. You read that right: third-best. There may be continued growing pains regarding his walks, but the development of Freddy Peralta into another legitimate ace of the staff is a welcome addition to the fold.