Rookie Review: Wily Peralta, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Bicep tendinitis knocked Milwaukee Brewers rookie Wily Peralta out of yesterday's start.
The issue isn't supposed to be a big problem and he is theoretically scheduled to start one more time this year, although personally I wouldn't risk it if I were the Brewers. Peralta is one of the most valuable properties in the organization.
The Brewers signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 2005 for $450,000. He got hurt quickly and missed all of 2007 recovering from Tommy John surgery, but came back from the injury well and was at full strength by '09, when he posted a 3.47 ERA with a 118/46 K/BB in 104 innings for Wisconsin in the Low-A Midwest League, moving up the prospect charts quickly.
He split '10 between High-A (3.86, 75/40 K/BB in 105 innings) and Double-A (3.61, 29/24 K/BB in 42 innings), then had a fine season in the high minors in '11, posting a 3.46 ERA with a 117/48 K/BB in 120 innings in Double-A before finishing with a flourish in Triple-A (2.03, 40/11 K/BB in 31 innings).
Control and consistency issues hampered him at times this year in a return engagement at Nashville, leading to a 4.66 ERA, 154 hits, and 78 walks in 147 innings, but he also fanned 143 and posted a 1.88 GO/AO. He's actually been more effective in his major league outings this summer, posting a 2.48 ERA (2.66 FIP) with a 23/11 K/BB in 24 innings, with a 1.50 GO/AO and zero homers allowed so far. He needs to get the walks down, but he's shown quality talent and has gotten people out even with his flaws.
Peralta is a 6-2, 240-pound right-handed hitter and thrower, born May 8, 1989 in Samana, Dominican Republic. He's got plenty of stuff, including a fastball that tops out at 98 MPH (averaging 95 in his major league time), along with a biting slider. His pitches have plenty of movement and he's always posted a strong sabermetric combination of a high strikeout rate with a high ground ball rate. Peralta has a changeup but it is inconsistent and he hasn't used it much at the major league level yet.
Scouts used to see him as a future reliever due to his health history, impressive fastball/slider combination, and occasionally spotty control. However, he's made enough progress that most now see him as a starter, ready to contribute in 2013. I like him quite a bit, being a big fan of the strikeout/grounder combination, and he's usually looked very good when I've seen him in person.
Further development of his command and the changeup will determine if he develops into a number three-type inning eater, or into something more. Assuming that his arm is OK, I tend to optimism with Peralta.