Prospect of the Day: Wily Peralta, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers traded away most of their farm system to prepare for the '11 season, leaving the system almost empty of impact talent. One remaining bright spot is right-hander Wily Peralta, who could see the majors later this year and very likely in 2012.
Wily Peralta was signed by the Brewers out of the Dominican Republic in 2005. He had a weak debut in rookie ball in '06, then blew out his elbow and missed all of 2007 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He recovered in '08 with solid pitching in the Pioneer League, then emerged on the radar more brightly in the Midwest League in '09, posting a 118/46 K/BB and a 3.47 ERA with 91 hits allowed in 104 innings for Wisconsin. He split '10 between High-A Brevard County (3.86 ERA, 75/40 K/BB in 105 innings, 102 hits) and Double-A Huntsville (3.61 ERA, 29/24 K/BB in 42 innings, 43 hits.
Returning to Huntsville this year, Peralta has a 3.69 ERA in 100 innings with a 100/37 K/BB, 95 hits allowed, and a 1.68 GO/AO ratio with just seven homers allowed. Overall in his career, Peralta has a 3.98 ERA with a 389/178 K/BB in 423 innings, 411 hits. This includes 142 innings in Double-A with a 3.67 ERA and a 129/61 K/BB, 138 hits, though note that his K/IP mark has improved a lot this year.
While Peralta's statistical performance is good-but-not-spectacular, scouts see a lot of things to like here. The 22-year-old right-hander is listed at 6-2, 240; he's considered physically strong, but he'll have to monitor his conditioning to prevent excess weight from building up. His delivery is consistent, and he generates easy heat with it, working consistently at 92-95 MPH and hitting 97-98 at times. His slider is very good, and he's improved his changeup considerably, giving him a full starting arsenal. He picks up plenty of ground balls, and the strikeouts/grounders statistical combination stands out.
Peralta's main problem is spotty command, but he's reduced his walk rate this year while boosting the strikeouts, statistical confirmation of scouting reports that he's steadily improving his feel for pitching. He's been especially sharp lately, with three runs allowed in his last 27 innings, with a 25/6 K/BB.
Peralta could be promoted to Triple-A at any time. He could theoretically see the majors late in the season, and you might also hear his name in trade rumors. If he maintains the progress with his command, he projects as a solid number three starter.