Brewers News

Brewers: Say Hello to 2022 Cy Young Winner Freddy Peralta

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Apr 18, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta (51) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta (51) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Brewers have been carried in large part by their elite starting pitching up until this point of the season. The 1-2 punch of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff has been supplemented by steady performances by veterans Adrian Houser and Brett Anderson. Anchoring down that final rotation spot: your 2022 National League Cy Young Winner, Freddy Peralta.

At just 24 years old, Freddy Peralta has seemingly built a name for himself and carved a spot for himself in the rotation behind two strong Cy Young contenders in Burnes and Woodruff.

Through his first eight games (seven starts following his Opening Day relief appearance), Peralta has thrown 39.0 innings, pitched to a 2.77 ERA, 2.92 FIP, and has accumulated 1.1 fWAR (tied for 8th among all qualified starting pitchers).

Freddy Peralta was not a lock in the rotation entering 2021, but he has turned out consistently solid performances for the Brewers as he takes the next step forward.

Peralta has taken the next step forward this season after floating between the bullpen and the rotation for the better part of the past three seasons. When looking at how Peralta ranks compared to the other pitchers in baseball, it is clear that he has taken a great leap forward.

Freddy’s x-stats are great. When looking at his xBA (.125) he is in the 99th percentile, he is in the 96th percentile for xSLG (.231) , 97th percentile for xERA (1.96) and for xwOBA (.224).

And fortunately for Peralta, the real stats are not too far off from his xstats. Opponents are hitting .142 against him, with a .291 SLG, a 2.77 ERA, and a wOBA of .252.

Peralta also is striking batters out at a higher clip than last season. His K% is 39.4%, up from 37.6% in 2020. In addition to striking out more batters, Peralta is giving up fewer hard hits (28.8% in 2021, down 2.9% from last season), and throwing more pitches in the zone (46.4%, up 5.2%).

Despite throwing more pitches in the zone, Peralta has seen an increase in his walks this season as he is walking batters in 11.6% of all plate appearances, up 2% from the past year. Part of that increase in BB% does come from Peralta’s expanded pitch repertoire.

This year “Fastball Freddy” has become “Four-Pitch Freddy,”  adding a changeup and throwing his slider much more frequently. The overall success has been noticeable. Baseball Savant has a stat called Run Value, which assigns a value to each pitch based on the pitch outcome. RV/100 takes the raw Run Value number and makes it per every 100 pitches thrown.

Even in a Brewers rotation that includes Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta is turning heads.

When looking at Four-Pitch Freddy’s RV/100, the numbers look quite good. He hasn’t thrown his curveball or changeup as frequently as his Four-Seamer or Slider, but his RV/100 for all 4 pitches is close. For his curveball it is (-1.2), his changeup (-1.1), his slider (-0.9) and his 4-seamer (-1.2). What the negative runs mean is that those pitches are preventing runs.

The Freddy Peralta experiment is in full swing now, and he is doing all he can to prove that he is a long-term solution in the rotation. Peralta is under contract through 2024, with club options for 2025 and 2026. Imagine what another offseason in the pitching lab will bring forth. The possibilities are endless.

Next. Wisconsin-born Jordan Zimmermann Retires. dark

The Brewers have a legitimate three-headed monster atop their rotation until at least 2025, and three strong candidates for the Cy Young Award. The 2021 Cy Young Award is clearly going to go to Corbin Burnes, which is why it is time to pencil that 2022 Winner as Four-Pitch Freddy Peralta.

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