While we’ve seen flashes, Freddy Peralta’s career with the Milwaukee Brewers up to this point has been filled with ups and downs. However, 2020 has the potential for a big year.
In his big league debut against Colorado back in 2018, we saw the sheer dominance that he can wield as he struck out 13 batters in just 5.2 innings, while allowing just one hit. Then a few outings later he’d have back-to-back performances where he totaled 13 innings and allowed no runs.
On the flip side, there were some outings where he allowed seven earned runs and others where he didn’t make it past the fourth inning.
And 2019 was really much of the same. In his second outing of the year in Cincinnati, Peralta would go eight innings while giving up only two hits and no earned runs. Unfortunately, the inconsistency would continue as he had a brief stint in the minor leagues before ending up in the bullpen, where once again, he had some fantastic performances.
However, at just 23-years-old, some of this is to be expected and it doesn’t take an expert eye or watching much of Freddy to realize the potential that he has.
Perhaps what has been Peralta’s biggest downfall through his first two MLB seasons has been his reliance on his fastball, I mean they don’t call him “Fastball Freddy” for nothing. During his short tenure with the Milwaukee Brewers, Peralta has thrown his fastball 78 percent of the time according to Brooks Baseball and 20 percent of the time he throws his curve ball, but with mixed results.
As I highlighted above, when Freddy is on, he’s on and his stuff is very difficult to hit. But when he’s missing and he only has two pitches to work with – one of which is inconsistent – hitters are going to take advantage. And this has contributed to a hard hit rate over his career that sits at nearly 40 percent.
So like many players do in the offseason, Peralta has been refining his craft in winter ball with the Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League. And to put it simply, he has been absolutely dominant.
In five outings that spanned 20 innings, Freddy posted a 1.35 ERA with 34 strikeouts and allowed only six hits. However, it’s not just the numbers that have been impressive but the way he’s gone about it.
According to Victor Baez, the commentator and press director for the Toros del Este, Peralta has incorporated a slider with his curve ball, has looked great keeping hitters off-balance with his pitch mix, and his fastball is consistently hitting the 98 mph mark. While this is a small sample size, it’s also very promising.
We are at the point where pitchers and catchers are about to report to spring training and the Milwaukee Brewers preliminary starting rotation appears to have Freddy on the outside looking in. With that said, there is still a ways to go before Opening Day and if Peralta can carry this momentum over into the spring, he could very well be a big part of this rotation in 2020.