2. What’s Peralta’s ceiling as a pitcher in the MLB? Down the road, can he be the ace the Brewers’ desperately need?
Mitchell Reichert: While Peralta is a fantastic pitcher, his ceiling at this moment is not as high as I’m sure the fans would hope. He’s a solid number three starter, which is perfectly acceptable. I know fans would hope that he can become an ace for the team, but that is a lot to expect out of a 21-year-old, not to mention that there are so few true aces in MLB in the first place.
If he is able to polish his slider and changeup just a bit more to compliment his fastball that he is able to move all over the zone, he will end up being a very consistent big league starter for the Brewers. Peralta will be able to slide in nicely into the rotation along with some combination of Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, Jholys Chacin, and Burnes when he is ready.
Mike Wendlandt: This is where it gets difficult. He was dominant against the Rockies and decent against Minnesota, leading to a lot of factors to think about when looking at his future. Looking ahead to 2019, 2020, and beyond, I think his ceiling is in between the two starts we saw. He’s always been inconsistent with his command, with at least four walks per nine innings during his two-plus seasons with the Brewers.
With those walks, though, come incredible strikeout numbers, including a minor league high 169 last season. He can be a high strikeout pitcher in the majors, but he may also have starts that he only goes five innings with four walks. That doesn’t scream “ace” to me. He’ll most likely be a good No. 2 or No. 3 starter in the major leagues if he continues on the trajectory he’s on. But if he can improve his command like Jimmy Nelson did from 2016 to 2017, then he’s got potential to be an opening day starter. He’s almost like a combination of Yovani Gallardo and Tim Lincecum.
Nick Michalski: It’s hard to say what Peralta’s future holds with a tiny sample at the major league level, but he has obviously rocketed through the Brewers farm system. He will be only 22 years of age in June and for now, his potential is unlimited.
Peralta posted very encouraging numbers in 2017, with 120 innings pitched, a 2.63 ERA and 12.7 K/9, split between High-A Carolina and AA Biloxi.
Now that he has returned to Colorado Springs with Chase Anderson and Zach Davies once again healthy, Peralta will work on his craft in a less pressurized environment.
Peralta making his MLB debut is a nice milestone for the pitcher and the organization. That experience should bode well going forward.
The raw right-hander has a long way to go to establish himself as a reliable major leaguer, let alone an ace. But with his youth and talent, it’s possible he could be a major factor in the future, which is very enticing.