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2021 Arizona Diamondbacks Reviews, #15: Geraldo Perdomo

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Our shortstop of the future struggled early, but finished strong.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images
  • Rating: 4.67
  • Age: Turned 22 on October 22
  • 2021 Stats: 11 G, 37 PA, .254/.335/.415 = .749 OPS, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0.3 bWAR
  • 2021 Earnings: league minimum
  • 2022 Status: 40-Man Roster, two option years remaining.

On July 2, 2016 the Diamondbacks signed Geraldo Perdomo to a minor league contract. He came to the team out of the Dominican. Through 2019, Perdomo worked his way through the lower levels of the minors, culminating in an Arizona Fall League appearance for the Salt River Rafters. By the time 2020 hit, he was invited to Spring Training and selected for the alternate training site. By the end of the season, he was assigned to AA (then the Jackson Generals).

Perdomo has been a top prospect for some time now. He’s been an MLB Top-100 prospect (and fallen off after his 2021 struggles). He had a lot of expectations thrown on him when the team traded Jazz Chisholm for Gallen. He has largely risen to the occasion.

2021 Review

Belief in Perdomo was high enough that he virtually began 2021 on the Arizona Diamondbacks’ roster, getting called up when Ahmed got injured. But it was not an encouraging step in the young man’s career though. In fact, I think he only had a single hit (the bloop below) in 11 plate appearances. But he did have an OBP of .300, due to him taking more walks (3) than strikeouts (2). And of course, he defense was impeccable. But that was expected: his glove has been MLB ready for quite a while.

Unfortunately for Geraldo, his struggles on the MLB stage were prophetic for his AA experience. From April until July, he played for the AA Amarillo Sod Poodles. It was so bad that he was a candidate to be demoted to High A in an attempt to “fix” him. Instead, the team assigned Perdomo to their Development List. Similar to the alternate training site, this allowed Geraldo to avoid the potential embarrassment of replaying a level he had thoroughly surpassed. And it worked! wondrously!

By August 5 he was back on the Sod Poodles and by September 20, he was a Reno Ace! Six days later, he was promoted to the Majors again, where he stayed throughout the year (all two weeks of it). Small sample sizes of course. And Reno. And potentially end of the year pitching fatigue. But in Reno he hit .417 in 3 games. And he had a .500 OBP with a single strikeout. In Arizona, he managed to raise his average to .258 despite the abysmal first week of the season. He ended up with an even BB/K ratio for the season.

The final showing he managed in Phoenix was so prolific that he received an AZ SnakePit fan rating of 4.86, and spot #15 overall for the season! For a man who has watched his prospect status rise, rise and then fall, it’s hard to imagine the fan expectation getting much higher than it is right now.

2022 Outlook

There are a lot of moving parts in Perdomo’s future. For one thing, Ahmed is still signed. For another, Marte is likely to play second. There is that tantalizing option of “Third base” but that’s a new a position for Perdomo and usually reserved for a player with more power. And of course, he has a grand total of 12 at bats in AAA. There’s likely some development to be had there. But the question exists: does that development NEED to happen in Reno or could it be just as (or more) beneficial to occur in Phoenix? AAA has become a somewhat perfunctory step in many player’s careers.

Personally, I expect Perdomo to start in Reno. For development, service time, and to get regular at-bats he just won’t get in Phoenix at the beginning of the season. But I do expect him to play in Arizona before the All Star Break. If only because I’m suspicious of Ahmed’s body staying healthy. But also, the team is running out of reasons to keep him out of Chase Field. Service time for him has already started, so that’s an exceptionally weak excuse to use at this point.

Whether or not he gets any third base time, I have no idea. Between him and this year’s first round pick, Jordan Lawlar, short stop could be highly contentious with Perdomo being the incumbent and Lawlar the uppity youth trying to supplant him. But Lawlar could also simply be developed to be a Third baseman as well. Or Perdomo could be the most overqualified second baseman in baseball. These are not 2022 questions. They are also a sign of a team with excellent “problems.” Regardless of what happens, I am excited to see what Geraldo can do next season.