Peralta is still very young. Especially for someone with 2 years of experience in the majors. He’s also someone who has gotten better each year. Freddy has added some velocity while building up his body, but that’s not all. Peralta added a slider this offseason. He only pitched 6 and 2/3rds innings for Toro del Este but managed to strike out a whopping 14 batters in that time. Several stats encourage you about Freddy Peralta. His 12.18 K/9 is near the top of the league. The strikeouts have been and most likely will always be there for Freddy.
If Peralta and his newfound slider can continue to progress, he could become a rotation mainstay. However, that isn’t the only spot Peralta can help the Brewers. Craig Counsell and the Brewers tried Freddy out of the bullpen for some time last year. In the pen he saw a major uptick in velocity, throwing in the upper 90’s. He had several nice multi-inning appearances and even recorded a save at that time.
This deal, however, isn’t completely risk-averse. You’re giving $15.5 million to a guy who has yet to hold a spot. He had and lost a job twice now. A big reason for this is his lack of control at times. He has been near the bottom of the league in walks surrendering almost 4 per 9. He also has a propensity to give up “Big innings” this has been a problem mostly in the first inning.
With the amount of payroll the Brewers cut from last season’s total, it’s good to see them use some of that cash here. This is a calculated risk, but a wise one. While he’s had his rough spots, Peralta will be stronger because of them. He has shown he is mentally strong and wants to get better. At 23 years old Peralta still has room to grow. If Peralta can capture the magic he’s had in the past and hold onto it for a full season the Brewers will have a frontline starter on a cheap contract. Even if he’s not a star, Freddy is a guy the Brewers count on to work tirelessly to get better and do whatever he can to improve the team.