Baltimore signed Peralta in 2013 for a $350,000 signing bonus. He was pushed quickly to full-season ball in 2016, debuting in Delmarva in the Sally League at 19 years old before pitching all of 2017 in the Carolina League. His raw stuff has always ranked among the best in the Orioles’ system, and a mechanical adjustment this spring has him throwing more consistent strikes.
Built with a prototypical pitcher’s frame, he carries a 6’5’’ and 200-pound listing with athletic and well-proportioned features. Last season, Peralta often rushed his delivery and dropped his arm-slot too far under the ball. He now seems to be focusing on a longer pause at the top of his windup, better syncing his arm and body to unlock improved angle and control. His fastball sat at 94-to-95 in backfield games this spring, reaching as high as 97 mph. The ball explodes down at hitters when his mechanics are timed up, and he overpowered hitters with his heater during my three-inning look. The primary off-speed pitch is a high-70’s curveball with flashes of good depth, though his long arm-circle detracts from the consistency and sharpness of the pitch. His changeup is similarly inconsistent and is more crude than his breaking ball.
It’s exciting that Peralta is showing signs of harnessing his stuff, though he’s still a fastball-first thrower with secondary pitches still coming to full form. The O’s will give him every chance to start, keeping in mind that the bullpen could be a realistic long-term fit. Peralta heads back to High A Frederick to begin 2018, and entering his age-21 season, he will need to continue developing his pitchability and control in order to remain in the rotation.