PHOENIX — Geraldo Perdomo went from hitting .195/.285/.262 in 500 games in 2022 — his first full major league season — to .293/.396/.467 (.863 OPS) with 138 OPS+ this season .
For many young players, last year’s offensive debacle would have destroyed their confidence and even their future in the best baseball in the world. But for the Diamondbacks short game, it was just a hurdle to overcome. And boy, has Perdomo surpassed him, the 23-year-old major leaguer for an Arizona team that leads the National League’s Western Division.
“Really very happy,” Perdomo said of how he changed the course of his career with Wood. “I think everything comes from last year, from the off-season, from what I worked on, you know, the routine one follows. I think that was the most important thing about that 180-degree turn that we got.”
Perdomo was thrust into the Diamondbacks’ starting shortstop role a year ago when veteran Nick Ahmed was injured. Perdomo took the field day in and day out – in a handful of non-fighting Diamondbacks – in his grueling fire trial of 2022. During the season, Mather and Damian Easley gave him some pointers to fine tune his style. his hitting and swinging, before being sent to play in the Dominican Republic with Águilas Cibaeñas in the winter of 2022-2023.
“We’ve been working on his foundation, his lower body, for him to compete and make adjustments,” said Mather, the Diamondbacks’ hitting coach.
There were only six games with the Eagles, but in 26 games, Perdomo went 9-for-20 (. 450), with four walks and one strikeout. Perdomo and Diamondbacks coach Tore Lovolo points to this stretch in the Dominican League as an important moment for the Santo Domingo native to return in 2023.
“He’s made some improvements in his swing,” said Lovolo, referring to Perdomo’s time with the “Mamis” in the Dominican Republic. “There were some elements of his swing that weren’t neat or immaculate. He corrected that and since then, he’s done a great job hitting the ball. I think a good start helped his confidence, and you see what he’s become: a very consistent player for us.”
There is no hard connection, but no problem either
As far as advanced metrics go, Perdomo is out. It’s in the lower percentages about firm contact, exit velocity, barrel and expected deceleration. But he lifts more balls than he did last year and his average with balls per play is 346, which partly explains his successes. Another key ingredient is patience and discipline in painting. Perdomo is above the 90th percentile in his swing rate to out-of-zone pitches and empty swings, with a percentage of 12.9 walks. In addition, he sees more than four pitches per plate, more than the league average.
“A keen eye is something he’s always had, but I think it’s something he’s taken to another level this year,” Mather said of Perdomo. “He sees a lot of pitches at every turn. When he swings a first pitch, his hitting is usually good. Hard contact isn’t necessary to win a major league game, or to be an everyday player in the major leagues. What’s really necessary is that you have an eye.” good and to be on a pedestal one way or another.”
Perdomo is well aware of that strength in his game.
“I think this is a blessing from God,” Perdomo said when bringing up the subject. “Since the minor leagues, I’ve been like this. I’ve been disciplined at the plate. Sometimes it depends on how the game goes, but I think that’s a blessing from the Lord. Not everyone has that discipline, but I think my major has been a blessing.”
Once a front-runner for the Diamondbacks, Perdomo has — like many other prospects — suffered from the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season due to the pandemic. So, what’s even more impressive is the resurgence at the highest level of baseball, on a major team, because the Quisqueyan guy is having his first really good season since 2019.
Despite everything, the confidence has not been shaken.
“Confidence sometimes goes up and down. When you maintain that confidence, things flow,” said Perdomo, who spent most of Arizona’s playing time with his bat at short notice, despite his full recovery from Ahmed. “Last year, it was probably a tough year. A little bit, but even so, I have my confidence the whole time.”
Lovolo sees the same thing every day.
“Last year, there was a lot of pain when he grew as a player,” said the manager. “But now we are enjoying the fruits of that labor.”
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