Fire up the hot stove, everyone! Slingin’ David Stearns and the Milwaukee Brewers have completed and announced their first transaction of the 2018-19 MLB offseason:
LHP Angel Perdomo has been signed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to Major League camp. pic.twitter.com/MJ0M5c9fMy— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) November 12, 2018
Angel Perdomo, who turns 25 next May, was originally signed by the Blue Jays as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic back in 2011 and made his professional debut the following year in 2012. Perdomo has produced some strong results in the minor leagues since during the seven years since, compiling a 3.25 ERA across 435.1 innings covering 115 outings (70 starts). The left-handed hurler has dealt with some injuries throughout his career, however, and has yet to make a single appearance above Class-A Advanced. He was allowed to depart the organization as a minor league free agent after his initial professional player contract expired following the conclusion of the 2018 season.
Perdomo has been well-regarded as a prospect at times during his career, including representing Toronto in the 2016 MLB All-Star Futures Game. That was inarguably his finest season as a pro; Perdomo pitched in 27 games for Lansing of the Class-A Midwest League, logging 127.0 innings with a 3.19 ERA, 2.89 FIP, and 156 strikeouts against 54 walks. To this point, 2016 is the only year that Perdomo has been able to top 100 innings pitched.
Missing bats has never been a problem for the tall, lanky southpaw (6’6”, 200 lbs). He’s allowed only 7.2 hits per nine innings as a minor leaguer and has whiffed batters at a rate of 10.4 K/9. Unfortunately troubles commanding the baseball, a common issue among long-limbed pitchers, have plagued Angel throughout his career.
Perdomo has issued a free pass to 11.4% of the batters he’s faced as a pro, which works out to a 4.4 BB/9 rate. He’s also plunked 33 batters and uncorked 43 wild pitches. But according to Fangraphs scout Eric Longenhagen, Perdomo did make some notable improvements to his ability to pound the strike zone this past summer. Back in late June, he noted that “Perdomo’s command has taken a significant step forward this year as he has nearly halved his walk rate and is showing especially improved command of his fastball and fringey slider to his glove side.”
This year in 26 games (12 starts) for Class-A Advanced Dunedin of the Florida State League, Perdomo posted a 3.63 earned run average while piling up 79.1 innings. He began the year in the rotation but after spending three weeks on the DL in July, Perdomo returned to pitch solely out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season. He finished with an even 100 strikeouts as opposed to 35 walks while limiting opponents to a .229 batting average against. Perdomo tends to be a fly ball pitcher but was taken deep only five times in 2018 and owns a 0.5 HR/9 mark for his career. Deserved Run Average graded his overall work as 31% better than league average for the FSL this past season.
According to Longenhagen, Perdomo sits 90-95 MPH with his fastball as a starter and can touch 96 MPH at times. He adds that Angel “creates a tough angle in on the hands of righties,” and it is worth noting that the lefty was similarly effective against right-handed hitters (.692 OPS) and his fellow left-handers (.659 OPS). But with a ‘fringey’ slider as his most noteworthy secondary offering as well as iffy command, if Perdomo is going to have a future at the game’s highest level, it is more likely to come out of the bullpen. Longenhagen wrapped up his report from the summer by saying “He’s made enough progress that you can project him as an eventual lefty reliever.”
The Brewers have arbitration decisions to make regarding the two left-handed specialists currently on their 40 man roster - Dan Jennings and Xavier Cedeno - and they don’t have a ton of advanced left-handed pitching depth in the upper minors. It’s unlikely that Angel Perdomo would make the jump right from A-ball to the big league bullpen next spring, but the club certainly seems interested in seeing what he can do against big league hitters next spring. Depending on his continued development how their left-handed depth shakes out during the winter, it stands to reason that Perdomo could earn the opportunity to join the bullpen carousel at some point next season if he can perform well enough.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, and Baseball Prospectus