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Wily Peralta: A shiny rock in the rough.

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Wily Peralta has a few elite talents, but there are obstacles holding him back. Is this the year he rises above them?

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers round out their rotation with their former number 1 prospect Wily Peralta. He’s only 24 years old now but this will be his second full year, third overall in the major leagues. Thus far the results have been mixed, but every so often he’ll pitch a game and you just know if he can put it all together he could be great.

Peralta’s standout skill is his fastball. In 2013 his average fastball velocity (94.8 mph) ranked 4th highest behind only Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg, and Jose Fernandez. Not that it matters all that much, but Peralta is the second youngest of that group. He also has the 12th highest groundball rate (51%) of qualified pitchers. That’s a unique combination.

Peralta’s problem, as with many pitchers in the Brewers system, is his control. He walks too many people. It’s hard to say what he needs to do to fix this problem, but it could be as simple as getting more experience. A lot has been made of his composure on the mound. He sometimes gets too emotional when he struggles, and he starts to overthrow. If that really is a large part of it, then experience can only help.

My hope is that Wily Peralta will eventually be able to strengthen his control. He’s young and there aren’t exactly a lot of prospects breathing down his neck, so you know he’ll be given a long leash to do so. If he can walk fewer and strikeout more, with his groundball profile, he can be a whole lot better than what we saw last year. He’s not the same caliber as Jose Fernandez or Stephen Strasburg, and you shouldn’t expect that, but I would compare him to Andrew Cashner. If you're uncertain, that’s a good thing.

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs