Rounding out the 10 Most Valuable Brewers is Freddy Peralta. The excitement surrounding Peralta coming into Spring Training this season was high. In Winter Ball, Fastball Freddy was dominating opposing hitters, but not with his fastball. He was being really effective with a slider. That slider had everyone in on the circuit swinging wildly at it.
He brought the pitch to Spring Training, and he was showing success with it there too.
Unfortunately the momentum for Peralta came to a halt because of the COVID-19 shutdown. When play resumed, Peralta got the start against the Cubs on July 26. Over three innings, he gave up four earned runs. He did not make another start for the rest of the season, which was something that looked to be a given during in the Spring.
Instead Peralta made 14 relief appearances. In the first 13 of those appearances, he covered 24.1 innings. Just taking those 13 games, Peralta pitched to a 2.22 ERA and a 1.71 FIP. He was striking out more than 15 per game, and opposing hitters had a .304 BABIP against him. So he was running into a bit of bad luck as well and still pitching in dominant fashion.
Obviously the St. Louis Cardinals got him for three runs in the last game of the season just after coming off the paternity list to inflate his overall numbers. We also know that Corey Seager tagged him for a home run in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series. Seeger hit a few of those off opposing pitchers during the Dodgers’ march to a World Series Championship. Nonetheless Peralta had a very nice season.
Peralta performed well out the of the bullpen for the most part in 2020, which makes him very deserving of being a MVB. Coming into 2021, we will all be asking whether Freddy Peralta will be in the starting rotation or the bullpen. That question will not be answered until next season. What we do know is that Freddy Peralta made another stride in his development in 2020. He will be 24 years old at the start of next season. No one will be surprised to see him emerge into the next elite level pitcher for Milwaukee.
Baseball statistics courtesy of Fangraphs