Is Luis Perdomo The Next Marcus Stroman?

Luis Perdomo, who in the baseball is he? Technically, he is a 24 year old starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres fresh off a mediocre campaign with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. Not really a ringing endorsement for any starting pitcher.

But, there are some stats that are eerily similar to that of Marcus Stroman. Stroman, while certainly not viewed as an elite starting pitcher, is a strong, quality starter who led the league in ground ball percentage and racked up over 200 innings. In today’s pitching landscape any pitcher who throws 200+ innings with an ERA below 4 is worth taking note of. Stroman is not a high strikeout pitcher at only 7.34 K/9, but he has led all of MLB qualified starters in ground ball percentage the past two years at 62.1% and 60.1% respectively.

Do you know who was second?

Enter the guy you don’t really know much about, Luis Perdomo. Perdomo was initially signed by the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2010 as an undrafted free agent. His path to the majors is a little unusual. He spent his entire minor league career with the Cardinals, but only reached High A, pitching a whopping 26 innings there in 2015. Perdomo was then selected by the Rockies in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft, and then flipped over to the Padres for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Once with the Padres, Perdomo went straight to the bigs. Yea, after only pitching 100+ innings one time in his minor league career, and never pitching above High A, Perdomo was thrust into major league action and started 20 games in his rookie season.

Perdomo has had his struggles, but his ground ball percentage was second only to Stroman in 2017 and 2016 (he only threw 146 innings in 2016) at 61.8% and 59%. Obviously in 2017 Perdomo was nowhere near the caliber pitcher Stroman was. His strikeout rate was lower, walk rate higher, ERA higher, FIP higher, and he had a higher WHIP. But, there are some very interesting comparables.

Perdomo and Stroman in 2017 had nearly identical home runs allowed per nine innings, similar BABIP against, and a close home run to flyball ratio (Perdomo was better). He actually throws harder and, like Stroman, his highest percentage pitch type is a sinker. Perdomo does have less pitches, and generally seen as a two pitch pitcher. Like Stroman, he shouldn’t be counted on to rack up strikeouts, but he can keep the ball in the yard and, with the ground ball rate, should be able to keep batting average against relatively low.

If Perdomo can add one additional pitch and reduce his walk rate, I could see him putting up Stroman-lite numbers and being a useful fantasy option. Don’t get me wrong, he is a late round flier at best for leagues with deeper rosters, but if you need a pitcher to rack up innings with peripherals that shouldn’t kill you, Perdomo is someone to keep an eye on.

Overall, it’s probably farfetched to believe Perdomo could match Stroman’s 2017 season, but matching Stroman’s 2016 season is very realistic.

Here is Stroman’s line from 2016: 9 wins in 33 starts with 204 innings pitched. He ended with a 7.32 K/9, 4.37 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

For fantasy purposes, after the 2016 season Yahoo ranked Stroman as the #32 starting pitcher entering the 2017 season.

Why can’t Luis Perdomo hit those 2016 marks and be a viable top 60ish starting pitcher?

It’s certainly possible. He probably won’t quite reach the 200 inning mark, but should be close with around 190. He pitched 6 innings or more in 20 of 29 starts last season, which is pretty good in today’s pitching landscape. Perdomo is still very young and has some work to do, but could be a surprising pitcher in 2018.

Stats referenced from www.fangraphs.com and www.baseball-reference.com