RHP Freddy Peralta
From most accounts, the Milwaukee Brewers are going to go into a complete teardown, as they are open to moving nearly all veterans on the team. That includes right-handed starting pitcher Freddy Peralta. Since the Pirates are now in dire need of a starting pitcher, Peralta should be an arm they should consider going after.
Peralta pitched 165.2 innings last year and made 30 starts, working to a 3.86 ERA, 3.85 FIP, and 1.12 WHIP. Peralta has always been a high-strikeout starter, and 2023 was no different. His 30.9% K% is right around his career average rate. However, Peralta posted a sub-8% walk rate for the first time in his career at 7.9%. His 1.41 HR/9 was the second worst of his career, but there is reason to believe he could see that tick down next season.
The first reason is that in four of the previous five seasons, Peralta’s HR/9 was below 1.0. The second reason is his 16% HR/FB ratio is significantly higher than the 8.6% rate he had in 2020-2022. Despite the increase in home run rate, he posted the highest ground ball rate (41.7%) and lowest flyball rate (40%) of his career and was well above average in exit velocity, clocking in at 87.6 MPH (top 78th percentile).
Not only would Peralta be a great fit because he’s young, but he’s also extremely affordable, with multiple years of control remaining. 2024 will only be his age-28 season, and he will be paid a mere $5,734,960, just a little over $2 million less than what the Pirates gave Rich Hill last year. Then, he has two more years of control via team options for $8 million, exactly what the Pirates gave Hill last off-season.