Freddy Peralta has always been an above-average arm in the Brewers rotation, finishing with an ERA+ above 110 (or 10% above league average) each year from 2020-2023, including a career-high 147 ERA+ in 2021, when he was also selected as an All Star.
While Peralta hasn’t repeated that performance in the last two seasons, 2023 was one of the best seasons of his career, as he started a career-high 30 games and struck out 210 batters in 165 2⁄3 innings, both of which also set new career-high marks. He also walked batters at the lowest rate in his career (7.9%) while not having to sacrifice his strikeout numbers, posting a 30.9% strikeout rate, near his 31.1% career rate.
He did have a bit of a rough stretch in the middle of the season, finishing with a 5.61 ERA in May and a 4.73 ERA in June, he turned things around in the second half, pitching to a 2.81 ERA and a 7-3 record across 13 starts after the All-Star break. He improved in nearly every statistical category in the second half, striking out 12.6 batters per nine innings (10.5/nine innings in first half) and improving his SO/BB ratio from 2.82 in the first half to 6.44 in the second half.
Peralta also earned the NL Pitcher of the Month Award in August, going a perfect 5-0 across five starts, allowing just seven runs across 30 innings (2.10 ERA), striking out 46 batters. While some numbers may tell a different story, he was just as good in September and October, allowing 10 runs across 26 2⁄3 innings (3.38 ERA) while striking out 33 batters and walking just one in the same period, posting his best monthly WHIP mark of the year at 0.825.
Peralta’s consistency down the stretch and ability to stay healthy while so many others missed time due to injury puts him squarely in the conversation for most valuable Brewers players of 2023.
We’ll continue the rankings of the Most Valuable Brewers each Monday and Wednesday heading into December. Come back on Monday to see who we have at No. 4.