Brewers: Freddy Peralta Finding Success As A Starting Pitcher
Throughout his four year MLB career, 24 year old right hander Freddy Peralta has been used in many different roles under manager Craig Counsell. To begin 2021, he is getting consistent starts in the Brewers starting rotation and is finding success.
Having bounced between starter and reliever multiple times as a Brewer each offseason it was always debated as to what role Peralta should serve.
After a strong spring training in 2021 Peralta earned himself a spot in the Brewers starting rotation and has not looked back.
It is safe to say that Peralta has been a strikeout machine this season. In each of his six starts he has recorded at least seven strikeouts and he is tied for sixth in terms of the most strikeouts. He is striking out batters at a 14.1 K:9 clip. Of his 61 strikeouts, 32 have came via the fastball and 26 via the slider.
In his most recent game against the Cardinals, Peralta was lights out. He tossed seven scoreless innings, allowed just one hit, and struck out eight batters. Five strikeouts came via the slider while the remaining three off of the fastball.
In 39 innings pitched he now possesses an ERA of 2.77. His xERA is 1.94 and he is striking out nearly 40% of batters faced. Perhaps his best pitch, the slider, currently owns a 45% whiff rate!
Peralta’s comfortable level in his ability to throw his slider may be a big reason for his success. He first added the pitch in 2020 but used it just 4% of the time. In 2021 that usage rate has increased to 33%.
To go along with his nasty sider, Peralta mixes in a changeup 6% of the time and curveball 4% of the time. Throw in a mid 90s fastball on top of all of these off-speed/breaking pitches and you can easily see why hitters have appeared lost and confused at the plate.
While Peralta has always possessed electric stuff and one of the leagues best spin rates that makes his fastball appear faster to opposing batters, his breakout season has provided a sigh of relief for many fans. With Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes also in the starting rotation, having this version of Freddy Peralta should be worrisome for opposing teams.
The goal for Peralta now is to keep it going. He signed a five year contract extension last season and with an average annual value of $3 MM he could easily outperform this. As a fan, our hope would be that he eventually emerges into another ace amongst this pitching staff!
Peralta’s high ceiling has always been as a rotation stud, and while there were some previous concerns that he wouldn’t reach that potential, he’s setting those concerns to the side with every single start he make.