MLB Debuts – May 12th and 13th
Hundreds of baseball players make their debut over the course of a season. However, for every Ronald Acuna and Scott Kingery there are dozens of lesser known prospects making their debuts who aren’t as frequently discussed. To remedy that, Austin Bristow II, Adam Garland, Ben Palmer and I will be doing a write-up on every single player making their MLB Debut. Inspired by the Effectively Wild podcast and Andrew Perpetua, we’ll discuss each debut’s skill set, how long they will likely remain in the majors and any other pertinent information you need to know. Each player will also be stored in a spreadsheet featuring further information (bio, D.O.B, player ID’s, etc) that can be accessed at the bottom of the article.
Here are the debuts from this past weekend:
Freddy Peralta (SP/RP, Milwaukee Brewers, 21 years old)
Call Up Date: May 13th
Role: Temporary Rotation
Organization Ranking: 9th
Grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 50
Fantasy Relevance: Worth a Flier
Freddy Peralta’s debut Sunday afternoon was nothing short of historic, as he joined Stephen Strasburg and three other pitchers as the fifth pitcher to strike out 13 or more in their major league debut. This impressive strikeout ability is nothing new to Peralta, as he struck out over 32% of the batters he faced across High-A and AA last season. Though only 5’11”, Peralta gets a lot of extension from the mound, akin to Tim Lincecum, with a loose, whip-like arm action. This unusual delivery adds a level of deception to Peralta’s delivery and makes his 93-96 mph fastball sneak up on batters faster than the average velocity would suggest. It shouldn’t go without saying that Peralta has struggled a bit with his command in the minors as before his call-up he had a 4.41 BB/9 in 34.2 IP and a 3.38 BB/9 in AA in 2016.
In yesterday’s debut at Coors Field, Peralta was essentially a one-pitch pitcher, throwing 90 fastballs, 5 sliders, and 3 changeups. His fastball maxed out at 96.6 mph and resulted in 19 swinging strikes. The Rockies hitters simply had no idea what to do with the pitch, as he ran it in and away to both right and left-handed batters, continually climbing up above the strike zone to get the punch out.
Despite his lacking pitch mix and potentially misleading success, Peralta is worth a flier in nearly all mixed leagues. Craig Counsell has already been quoted stating that Peralta will get at least one more turn in the rotation, adding a sense of security to acquiring him. While he’ll need to mix in his breaking pitches to see continued success, I believe Peralta will likely be a recurring streaming option at worst with the upside of a top 50 or 60 starter. (Austin Bristow II)
Brandon Mann (RP, Texas Rangers, 33 years old)
Call Up Date: May 13th
Roll: Bullpen Arm
Organization Ranking: N/A
Grades: Changeup: N/A| Slider: N/A | Fastball: N/A | Control: N/A | Overall: N/A
Fantasy Relevance: None
You may have noticed that there are a lot of N/A’s when it comes to Brandon Mann’s information and that isn’t for lack of searching. The reason why I was unable to locate his original scouting reports: they were from the year 2002. That was when the Tampa Bays selected left-hander, Brandon Mann out of Washington high school with their 27th round pick. Since that day in 2002, Mann has spent the past 17 seasons playing for 17 different teams in 5 different organizations including the Dodgers, Pirates, Athletics, Rangers with stops in Japan and independent leagues. In those seasons he had a 4.35 ERA with a 7.5 K/9.
Recently however, Mann was having a lot of success in the minors. Over 12 appearances and 17.1 IP, Mann worked a 1.04 ERA with a 6.50 K/9 and a 2.60 BB/9. Thanks to those results, after 17 years Mann finally received his first call to the big leagues which he didn’t waste. He made his official debut on the 13th where he went 1.2 IP with 0 ER and 1 H. While he wasn’t able to record his first major league strikeout he did not surrender any free passes. Unfortunately, I do not see Mann sticking around the Majors for long. A lot of people felt that Matt Bush should’ve received the call over Mann but the Rangers wanted to give Bush a little more time to work on things. Going forward, I don’t see Mann being selected over Bush much more. (Alex Fast)
David Hess (SP/RP, Baltimore Orioles, 24 years old)
Call Up Date: May 12th
Organization Ranking: 16th
Grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Cuveball: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
Fantasy Relevance: None
While the starters in the Baltimore Orioles rotation have struggled to find success recently, there have been a slew of minor league performers who’ve been pitching well. One of those was David Hess. Hess has thrown 29.2 IP in his 2018 minor league campaign with a 2.12 ERA, 8.80 K/9 and a 1.01 WHIP. The Oriole has an over-the-top slot that gives him a lot of downhill plane with a velocity that sits around 93 mph. His slider and curve are average and while his change is the weakest of his arsenal, it shows some average control. In his Saturday debut, Hess went 6 IP with 3 ER, 6 H, 0 BB and 3 K in what would go on to be his first major league quality start and win. Hess regained his composure after a rough first and ended up generating 5 whiffs on 26 sliders thrown and 7 whiffs overall. After the game, Hess was sent back down to the minors which was no surprise as the Orioles called on him to be the 26th man allotted to teams for a doubleheader. Moving forward the Orioles will try to continue utilizing Hess as a starter though in the future his stuff may play best out of the bullpen. (Alex Fast)
Missed a player’s debut? Read detailed reports on all 2018 MLB debuts in this spreadsheet.