The Major League Baseball Futures Game took place during the All-Star break and the St. Louis Cardinals had one representative, pitcher Luis Perdomo, which promptly caused head scratching throughout Cardinal Nation. Who is Luis Perdomo? What does his future look like? All questions I received regarding the right-hander.
Perdomo's rise began early in June when he was named the Minor League Pitcher of the Month of May by the Cardinals. Perdomo received the award thanks to 1.42 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 31 2/3 innings for the Peoria Chiefs. Thanks to poor run support, Perdomo went just 1-4 in May, again showing how meaningless the win/loss record is for pitchers.
A couple of days after being named Minor League Pitcher of the Month, Perdomo was named to the World Team of Futures Game at the MLB All-Star Game. The lone Cardinals representative, Alex Reyes, was placed on the disabled list for the Palm Beach Cardinals and was unable to pitch in Cincinnati for the exhibition. Without a representative and an open roster spot on the World side, Perdomo was the path of least resistance addition.
Zoomzoomj88 had this write up of Perdomo when he was named to the Futures Game. For this post, I wanted to give you an update with Perdomo's performance in the game and a look at what the future might hold for the 22-year old right hander.
If you did not get the chance to see Perdomo pitch in the Futures Game, you can check it out below. He entered the game in the bottom of the 8th inning and faced three batters; Rockies' Trevor Story, Nats' Trea Turner, and the Dodgers' Kyle Farmer. Perdomo enters Futures Game at 2:01:36
As you can see, Perdomo has pretty good arm action and a motion that is very similar to Carlos Martinez's (falling off the mound). Perdomo even displays a pretty nice slider that sat at 86 miles per hour, although he had a hard time controlling it at times.
Before we look at what the future holds for the 22-year old, lets look at where he has been during his 5 year minor league career within the Cardinals organization. The Cards signed Perdomo on November 20, 2010 at the age of 17 out of the Dominican Republic. His first year and a half of professional baseball were spent in the Dominican with the Cards Dominican Summer League team. In August of 2012, he made his first appearance on American soil and made two starts for the GCL Cards.
2013 was a rough year as Perdomo spent the entire short season with the rookie level Johnson City Cardinals and struggled mightily.
At the age of 20 during his 2013 season, Perdomo showed how raw he was as he allowed nearly 2 walks and hits per inning. Combine his FIP with his really low LOB% (probably thanks to a low K/9) and you see his 5.40 ERA was probably a little inflated of what it should be, but his walks and batting average against did him no favors. 2013 was definitely Perdomo's low point in his minor league career.
With age comes maturity and we saw that some in the 2014 season. In 2014, he pitched a total of 72 innings with the majority (57) coming with the Low-A Peoria Chiefs. He made one appearance at High-A Palm Beach, then opened the season with Short Season State College, and finally was promoted to Peoria in late June, where he stayed for the rest of the season. Pretty much all of his stat categories improved with the Chiefs in 2014, but not significant enough to warrant a promotion for 2015.
Luis Perdomo has been a completely different pitcher in 2015, probably due to repeating a level and gaining another year of experience. Again with Peoria, Perdomo's numbers have improved significantly, enough to warrant a Minor League Pitcher of the Month and a spot in the MLB Futures Game at the All-Star Game.
So what has changed?
Perdomo's strikeout rate is over two strikeouts more per nine innings at 8.96, probably due to an increased ability to throw the breaking pitches for strikes as we saw a little in the Futures Game. With the increased strikeout numbers, his left-on-base percent has also risen to 71.3%m which is about league average. Since he is stranding more runners, his ERA and FIP have dipped as well, down to 2.67 and 2.79 respectively. Even his walks are down to 2.77 walks per 9 innings (still not great, but better for him.)
What does the future hold for Luis Perdomo
2015 has been Luis Perdomo's coming out party and his improved numbers show that he could become a legitimate prospect down the road, but I am skeptical unlike my friend Joe Schwarz. Joe has been high on Perdomo all season and understandably so as there is a lot to like.
I would offer a couple of reasons to remain skeptical. First, Perdomo's age is not what it should be to be considered a top prospect. At 22, he is the average age of the Midwest League, unlike Carson Kelly, who I wrote about last week, who is a couple of years under league average. Second, Perdomo has only shown success over 14 starts this season and has had rough patches, something you see in a 20-year old prospect.
In the next couple of weeks, I will be updating my top 20 prospect list and you will not find Luis Perdomo on it, but a string of consistent starts combined with a promotion to High-A Palm Beach could put him in contention for 2016.
Thanks for reading!