2022 stats: 148 G, 5 HR in 500 PAs, .195/.285/.262 (58 OPS+), +0.7 bWAR,
Date of birth: October 22, 1999 (23 years old),
2022 earnings: $701,300 (via Spotrac),
2023 status: On 40 man roster.
As a top prospect, expectations were high. In 2020, MLB.com ranked Geraldo Perdomo the 79th best prospect in baseball. In February 2022, ZiPS ranked him as the 70th best prospect in baseball and FanGraphs ranked him as the 83rd best prospect in baseball. In 2022, he graduated from FanGraphs’ The Board.
“He’s a plus defensive shortstop with incredibly fast actions and wonderful defensive instincts, and is a low-whiff switch-hitter with great feel for the strike zone from both sides of the plate.” — FanGraphs
In 2021 his .988 OPS in September/October kept expectations high, although that season his playing time was very small (4 games in April and 7 games in September/October).
“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.” — Spencer O’Gara 2021 Diamondbacks Review
Some fans did not expect him to make the opening day roster, but he did. He started the season as shortstop due to Nick Ahmed’s first injury.
Two events led to Geraldo Perdomo getting significant playing time at shortstop. On 9 May shortstop-capable Sergio Alcantara was lost on waivers to the Padres. On 15 May primary-shortstop Nick Ahmed returned to the injured list for the remainder of the season. Those two events made Geraldo Perdomo the everyday shortstop. On 5 July Sergio Alcantara was re-claimed on waivers, but Perdomo remained the primary shortstop.
His success fell short of the high expectations of a top prospect. His WAR was positive and it reflected that he belongs in the Majors, especially because was young and he started the season with rookie status. That being said, improvements are needed and expected.
At first glance his 58 OPS+ shows the need to improve. However, the deeper statistics show he has batting strengths. Because of his strengths my view is that his OPS+ will improve.
His deep batting strengths follow:
- Lowest on Diamondbacks was his 12.7% Swinging Strikes as percent of all strikes. Baseball Reference.
- Highest on Diamondbacks was his 80.8% contact. Contact was calculated by (Balls In Play + Fouls)/(Balls In Play + Fouls + Swinging Strikes). Baseball Reference.
- Fourth best on Diamondbacks was his .485 ratio of walks to strikeouts (behind Walker/Marte/Rojas). Baseball Reference.
- Third Highest on Diamondbacks was his .346 wOBA with runners in scoring position (RISP) (behind Varsho and McCarthy). Baseball Savant.
At first glance his zero Outs Above Average (OAA) for the season was average when his spot in the lineup was shortstop. However, deeper statistics show 3 OAA when his location on the field was shortstop per Baseball Savant.
His defense was better after the All-Star break. At that point The Fielding Bible showed his Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) as negative 7. In the remainder of the season his DRS was positive 4 (improving his season total to negative 3 DRS).
One specific and important strength was arm strength. His arm strength was ranked 8th best among 33 shortstops with at least 300 throws in MLB. Baseball Savant.
Geraldo Perdomo’s performance will be surprisingly impressive for two reasons:
- His OPS+ will improve to average because of the deep batting strengths (swinging strikes, contact percentage, walk to strikeout ratio, and wOBA with RISP) that he demonstrated last season.
- His defense will be awesome because that’s his wheelhouse, because he proved his defensive prowess after the All-Star break, and because without shifts his position on the field will be shortstop, where he had his best OAA.
In 2023, Nick Ahmed will return from the IL. However, Ahmed’s playing time for next season could be between 40% and 70%, with caveats. Those caveats include keeping him injury free and performance close to 100%.
Significant playing time at shortstop will be available for Geraldo Perdomo. However, one additional consideration is that Diamondback prospects Blaze Alexander and Jordan Lawlar will soon be ready for promotion to the Majors, perhaps as soon as the All-Star break.
My prediction is that 35% of the shortstop playing time will go to Geraldo Perdomo. It’s likely that his batting and defense will be better than last season. Nevertheless, in the last two months of the season it will be insightful to see how much shortstop playing time goes to prospects Blaze Alexander and Jordan Lawlar, and how well they play in the Majors.