The Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly signed pitcher Freddy Peralta to a five-year contract extension with two options.
In his MLB debut against the Colorado Rockies in 2018, Peralta would strike out 13 batters in just 5.2 innings pitched. A few outings later he would string together 13 straight scoreless innings. Ultimately, we’d see Peralta post a 4.25 ERA with a WHIP of 1.136 over the 78.1 innings pitched that season. Certainly a promising start.
Then in 2019 as a member of the starting rotation, in his second start against Cincinnati, Peralta would toss eight scoreless innings while giving up only two hits. But once again, his inconsistency would strike and he was eventually relegated to the bullpen. Where, as you’d expect, we saw a fantastic few week stretch from him over the summer.
However, despite the ups and downs, you don’t have to watch much of Freddy Peralta to realize the potential that he has. And perhaps his biggest bugaboo was his reliance on the fastball.
During his first two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, according to Brooks Baseball, Peralta had thrown his fastball 78 percent of the time. His curveball was his other “go-to” pitch, but it needed work and to be a successful big league starter, pitchers are going to need more than just two pitches to rely on.
So as many players do in the offseason, Freddy played winter ball where he worked on incorporating a slider and had very promising results. During his 20 innings in the Dominican Winter League, Peralta posted a 1.35 ERA, totaled 34 strikeouts and gave up just six hits.
On top of that, according to Victor Baez the commentator and press director for the Toros Del Este, Peralta had a great pitch mix, his fastball was consistently in the upper 90s, and that new slider was cooking.
Armed with a new slider, 2020 is a potential breakout season for Peralta and the Milwaukee Brewers know just how good he can become. As a result, they have reportedly given him a contract extension and below, Jon Heyman highlights the details of the deal:
I can’t imagine that there is anyone out there who would have guessed that Peralta would be the one getting a contract extension, but what this does is it provides Freddy with some financial stability early in his career, while this deal could turn into a steal for the Brewers.
At this point, we’ve seen the brilliance of Freddy in spurts, but as I’ve mentioned, he’s largely inconsistent as well, which of course means some risk comes with this extension.
However, if he continues to develop and becomes a front line starter or even a dominant bullpen arm, at an average annual value of $3.1 million, this will be a great deal for Milwaukee.
It’s clear that the Brewers believe in Freddy and expect him to continue making strides in the coming years or they wouldn’t be making this move. And now equipped with a refined curveball and a new slider, it appears that he is ready for that breakout season.