Angel Perdomo is the type of pitcher you dream about when you see him on the mound. He is an imposing presence and a southpaw. He racks up strikeouts galore. Unfortunately he has trouble keeping men off the base paths because he hands out too many free passes.
When the Blue Jays signed a very young, tall, and lanky pitcher out of the Dominican Republic, they understood he would be a project. What 16-year old kid isn’t? But height and length can work against you as much as they can work for you sometimes.
Since signing with Toronto in 2011, Perdomo has pitched over eight minor league seasons across every level culminating with a spot on the AAA San Antonio Missions in 2019. Based on his performance last season, Perdomo demonstrated enough to be in the discussion for the Brewers’ bullpen in the future.
Well the future might be now. Perdomo got the invite to work out at the alternate training site as part of the Brewers’ 60-man roster. With Eric Lauer being sent down and Justin Grimm going to IL, Perdomo was one of the pitchers to get the call to take one of those spots for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Angel Perdomo is big and imposing. He is 6’8” and 265 lbs. He has really long limbs, which means he has extra long levers that sometimes take a bit more time to control.
What he will be, no matter what, is an uncomfortable at-bat for major league hitters. Drew Rasmussen indicated that in his response to playing catch with the big left-hander:
“I’ve never had to hit against him, but I’ve played catch with him, and when he releases that thing it feels like the ball is at your chest already,” Rasmussen said. “If it’s uncomfortable to play catch with him, I can’t imagine it being a super-comfortable at-bat. … It’s like he’s handing it to you at 100 miles an hour. It’s not the most enjoyable thing ever.”
Perdomo’s delivery is long and and operates like a trebuchet (look it up). From the back side, it looks as if his delivery is slow. But even when you watch him from the back of the mound, it looks as if he finishes on top of the hitter.
In fact, his delivery is quite explosive as you can see in the video below. He is slow at the back side of the delivery, but just like the aforementioned action of a trebuchet, he can explode through his release. However it does look like from the video that he does need to focus on making that happen. Nonetheless, the video demonstrates how tough it would be to hit against him.
“It’s a scouting belief of mine, but taller players have a longer development window in baseball,” Counsell said. ”It’s harder to put long levers together and to be as consistent in baseball. I think it makes sense and it’s proven out over a lot of players.
“It’s a challenging thing, but you keep going with them because the results are generally pretty good at the end.”
The video above demonstrates his potential. All indications are that his stuff is playing up, and if you see some of his stats from San Antonio and some of the at-bats taken off of him this Spring, it is obvious that this guy has the potential to dominate MLB hitters.
Perdomo’s fastball sits in the mid-90s, and he utilizes a slider that plays big. He often throws the slider on the back foot of right-handers, making him a hard at-bat no matter the handedness of the hitter.
Perdomo does not have a problem with stuff. His problem is consistency with command. He walks a lot of guys. Going back to his length, he can have trouble repeating his delivery and losing his arm slot. That lack of consistency is all that holds him back. Cited in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, Craig Counsell talked about the importance of consistency with regard to Perdomo.
“I think he can have success in the big leagues right now. But consistent success?” said manager Craig Counsell. “I think that consistency probably has to go up a notch for him. So, that’s where he’s at. And that’s a jump from last year.”
Perdomo is a minor league veteran. Over eight minor league seasons, he has posted solid pitching stats. What stands out most is his ability to strike guys out. Over 54 innings in 2019, Perdomo struck out 86 batters while pitching for the San Antonio Missions. That is 14.33 K/9.
He did post a 5.17 ERA for the Missions, which seems odd when you see such strikeout totals. Walks and BABIP were the problems. He was walking more than six batters per nine, and his BABIP was .354. His problems last season were self induced coupled with a lot of bad luck. In fact 11 of the 31 earned runs he gave up at the AAA level in 2019 came in two really awful outings both of which were in August. Could fatigue have leant to some of the bad and self-inflicted luck?
Angel Perdomo is not the type of pitcher that needs pinpoint command. His stuff and length lend themselves to potential dominance. But he must reduce the number of free passes. If he can do that, Perdomo will make a big impact for the Milwaukee bullpen in 2020 and beyond.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs