Having Just Turned 20, RHP Ofelky Peralta Off to Solid Start for High--A Frederick Keys

Coming into the 2017 season, the High-A Frederick Keys were anticipated to have the most interesting and fun to watch starting rotation among the Baltimore Orioles' affiliates. The rotation is stacked with top organizational prospects, and among them, 20-year old right-handed pitcher Ofelky Peralta is off to a solid start on the mound.

Harry Grove Stadium - Home of the Keys
Photo: Baby Birdland

Peralta, who just turned 20 on Thursday, is in his fourth year in the Orioles' organization after being signed as a 16-year old out of the Dominican Republic back in 2013. We have him ranked as the 13th best prospect in the Orioles' organization, while MLB Pipeline ranks him 17th.

Last season saw Peralta pitch for a full-season affiliate for the first time. He made 23 starts for the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds and went 8-5 with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP over 103.1 innings pitched. He struck out 101, held opponents to a .230 batting average and allowed just three home runs all season.

Over his first two starts of 2017 with the Keys, Peralta owns a 1.00 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP over nine innings pitched. He has held opponents in the Carolina League to a minuscule .138 batting average and has struck out 14 batters. He has allowed just one run and four hits.

The biggest concern with Peralta is not his stuff, but his command. Peralta struggles with the walk. Over his nine innings of work this season, he has walked nine batters and hit another.

Last season he walked 60 and hit seven over his 103.1 innings pitched.

The head-scratching part of all of this is that his stuff is too good to be throwing so many pitches out of the strike zone. His fastball, which I have seen hit 98, normally sits in the 90-93 MPH range, and his change up is above average in my opinion as well. He does need to work on his breaking ball, which really lacks command.

When you watch him on the mound, he is one of those guys that can make you say, "wow" and then the next inning say, "what in the world?"

There's no denying his potential, but in order to live up to that potential, he will have to work on his command and finding a consistent release point. He has great stuff, and a power arm, and while his walks are high, his run prevention has been terrific thus far in 2017.


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