Milwaukee Brewers: Is Freddy Peralta a serious Cy Young contender?

Detroit Tigers v Milwaukee Brewers
Detroit Tigers v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Brewers currently sit on top of the National League Central division with a record of 23-17, despite Brandon Woodruff being out and Corbin Burnes not fully looking like himself for a few outings. To put the Brew Crew to the third best record in the NL, they have seen a vast improvement offensively, but starting pitcher Freddy Peralta has really stepped up for the rotation.

The 26-year-old Peralta has gone from being a fastball-heavy reliever to being an essential starter in the success of Craig Counsell's team for a number of seasons now. In the 2019 season, it saw Peralta play in 39 games but only start eight of those, and then he started just one in the shortened 2020 season. Since then he has started 27, 17, and seven games now so far this season and seen his level of play step up significantly since moving to the starting rotation.

Burnes was one of the early favorites for the Cy Young Award heading into the season but his injury was a quick setback and he has also had some games where he has struggled on the mound. The NL as a whole is strange so far, with many teams underperforming expectations and some of those teams possessing Cy Young contenders. This may have opened the door for Peralta to make a serious run at engraving his name on the award.

Is Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta a serious Cy Young contender?

Peralta has started seven games this season and has an ERA of 3.32, below his career average of 3.77 per It would also be the second best ERA of his career with his 2021 season finishing at 2.81, but with plenty of the season left to play there is no reason why Freddy can't make this his best yet.

In his last two games, he has registered 15 strikeouts combined against the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rockies swung and missed at 25 of Peralta's pitches, which was a career high for him, and across the start of the season he has registered seven or more strikeouts in four of his starts.

He has struck out opponents on 46 occasions so far in 2023 while he amassed 86 last season in 18 more appearances, making it another category in which he could better last season's performance. Freddy Fastball is back and he has put himself in the 87th percentile for Whiff percentage, according to Baseball Savant.

Another key pitch he has added to the arsenal is the slider, throwing it in around 23 percent of all pitches and it allows him to mix up the game more rather than rely on the fastball to strike out batters. This ability to have such an effective off-speed pitch is what causes issues for opponents as he disguises it as a fastball before it drops away.


Some of the favorites for the Cy Young Award have started the season well. Dodgers pitcher Dustin May has an ERA of 2.68 across his eight appearances and the Atlanta Braves' fantastic start to the season has been propelled by the form of Spencer Strider, who leads the NL in strikeouts with 79 in eight games.

2022 NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara has struggled so far this season, starting with a 1-4 record and a staggering ERA of 4.91 with almost a .250 average against. Other big names to have struggled early are Julio Urias, Zack Wheeler, and Max Scherzer, opening the chance for Peralta to push his name into the conversation for the best pitcher in the National League.

Last season, a shoulder injury caused Peralta to miss a significant chunk of time and also impacted the Brewers' chance at making the postseason. If he remains fit this season, there is no reason why he can't win the award and the Brewers can certainly win the division with the form they have been in to start the season.

The big thing for Freddy is that he is healthy and if he keeps on improving like we have seen. If it stays that way, then he has a real outside shot at holding the Cy Young Award come the end of the season.

Next. 3 Brewers Players Fans Have Already Lost Their Patience With. dark