Whether intentional or not, there is an obvious trend growing within the Pirates system when it comes to their pitchers.
We are seeing more go to a breaking ball heavy approach, and pitchers rely less on getting swing and misses with the fastball.
Roansy Contreras has some of the highest slider usage in the league among starters, Quinn Priester has seen success using his breaking pitches, and even Luis Ortiz has struggled to get swing and misses with the fastball.
One pitcher that doesn’t have an issue with racking up the strikeouts with the fastball/sinker has been Luis Peralta, pitching in Single-A Bradenton for the second straight season.
The lefty put up some eye popping strike out numbers (34.2 K%), but struggled with his control (15.5 BB%). Starting again in Bradenton in 2023, the strikeouts are still there, and he’s improved the walks, if only marginally.
Here's a look at 8 of the 9 strikeouts Luis Peralta had on Wednesday. There was a mess up recording and I missed one. Control wasn't great, but Peralta has shown some great stuff early this season #LetsGoBucs pic.twitter.com/k8cQu4oGjO
— Anthony Murphy (@__Murphy88) April 28, 2022
While a few pitchers on his team – namely JP Massey and Thomas Harrington – are getting their strikeouts with breaking pitches, Peralta’s primary swing and miss pitch has been his sinker.
His curveball actually has a 100% whiff rate, but he’s only thrown the pitch 23 times – with only four swings on it so far.
Overall he has a 32% whiff rate with both his fastballs, with the sinker doing the majority of the damage. Peralta has thrown the sinker 66% of the time, and it’s 31.1% whiff rate would rank in the top five among major league pitchers right now.
Still with a lot of work to do to make it out of Single-A, Peralta has shown progress in the biggest category holding him back without sacrificing his biggest asset. If he can continue to improve on the control, his sinker is enough of a swing and miss pitch to get him out of Bradenton and into an opportunity with High-A Greensboro.
— Javier Rivas picked up three RBI in the first game of Bradenton’s double header Friday, all at different points in the game and all while not picking up a hit at all. With two sacrifice flies and a bases loaded walk, it was certainly an unconventional way to drive in runs, but effective none the less.
The biggest key with that is he made contact, at least with two of the three. Strikeouts have been a major issue for him. There are a lot of tools there, but he’s going to need to make consistent contact to make it out of Single-A.
— Bradenton’s rotation is a little out of whack this week, with everyone basically moving up a day. This could be a good sign for Thomas Harrington, getting some work with one days less rest, as that’s how it would be if he were to head up to Greensboro at some point.
After Thursday’s game, he’s continuing to show his time in Bradenton could be close to an end.
— There will probably be a time to hit the mini panic button on Endy Rodriguez, but this isn’t it. His OPS dipped under .700 after going 0-for-5 on Friday. His approach has been strong, and even his exit velocity numbers have been improving as of late.
It seems to be a waiting game, but we are also entering June.
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— Anthony Murphy (@__Murphy88) May 26, 2023
Abrahan Gutierrez returned to the Greensboro lineup on Friday, picked up three hits, two of which were doubles. He is probably the guy that benefits the most from a Henry Davis promotion.
Days since last Shack Attack: 0⃣ pic.twitter.com/0VQMkkgJca
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) May 27, 2023
Aaron Shackelford hits another one over the fence staying hot.
— Altoona Curve (@AltoonaCurve) May 26, 2023
After hitting a home run in the first inning, Matt Fraizer drives in two more on this double, finishing the day with three RBI.+ posts
Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.