It’s been a long and winding road for Freddy Peralta on his way to sticking as a regular starter for the Milwaukee Brewers. But he has finally reached his destination and he has looked great now that he’s gotten there.
Peralta burst on to the scene as a rookie with his 13-strikeout win on Mother’s Day back in 2018. But he was inconsistent after that and shuffled back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen over the next few years.
This spring, Peralta proved that he was ready to make the jump to the rotation full-time on the back of a 3.95 ERA and a 23/3 strikeout to walk ratio over 13 2/3 Cactus League innings. The question was whether he would stay there.
So far, he has easily put those fears to rest. In 10 appearances in 2021 (9 starts), Peralta has put up a 2.54 ERA and a 0.946 WHIP. He has a 4-1 record on the year and the Brewers are 7-3 in games in which he pitches.
The advanced statistics that go along with those numbers are impressive as well and on a lot of teams, pitchers with those overall numbers would possibly be thinking they have a chance of attending the midsummer classic.
Freddy Peralta has been impressive in 2021, but he will probably fall short of an All-Star appearance for the Brewers.
Make no mistake, Peralta ranks highly among other starters across the league. His 1.3 fWAR as a starter, which would already be a career high by itself, ranks third among Brewers pitchers and top 15 in the National League.
That’s not all though. According to Baseball Reference, Peralta went into Thursday as the MLB leader in hits per nine innings (4.35) and strikeouts per nine innings (13.77) among all qualified pitchers.
Again, the problem here, isn’t as much Peralta’s own performance. No, the reason he will likely fall short of an All-Star nomination is because of the superb performance of some of his pitching teammates.
In the rotation, the 1-2 punch of Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes have been outstanding in 2021. Each have a higher fWAR than Peralta (Burnes 2.3, Woodruff 2.2) and lower ERAs (Woodruff 1.41, Burnes 2.33). Burnes even has a higher K/9 (14.37), but isn’t qualified.
And then there’s closer Josh Hader. As we discussed recently, he is once again proving to be one of the most, if not the most, dominant closers in baseball even if his performance has somehow been going a bit unnoticed.
If those three pitchers stay on their current pace, it’s very likely that all three will make this year’s All-Star game themselves. If that does indeed happen, it probably leaves Peralta as the odd man out. Four All-Star pitchers from one team is just way too unlikely.
Peralta may have an All-Star appearance somewhere in his future. It just probably will be some time after the 2021 season.