MLB insiders: D-backs SS Geraldo Perdomo among most impressive rookies

May 12, 2022, 12:30 PM

Daulton Varsho #12 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates with Geraldo Perdomo #2 after hitting a t...

Daulton Varsho #12 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates with Geraldo Perdomo #2 after hitting a two-run home run against the Miami Marlins during the fourth inning at loanDepot park on May 04, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

ESPN baseball analysts Kiley McDaniel, David Schoenfield and Bradford Doolittle devised a list of 10 rookies who have opened eyes so far, and slotted into the No. 8 spot is Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Geraldo Perdomo.

Perdomo was the No. 8 prospect in the D-backs’ organization before the season, per MLB Pipeline. He was thrust into a starting spot on Opening Day after veteran Nick Ahmed was placed on the injured list (shoulder).

The 22-year-old has played 25 of 32 D-backs game thus far, and ESPN’s main reasons for including him are defense and getting on base.

Perdomo had a slick glove in the minors and has translated that to the majors. He had one errant throw during the fourth game of the season, and since then has been a plus defender in multiple positions.

The 22-year-old had a cup of coffee in 2021 and then began the season as the starting shortstop with Nick Ahmed on the injured list. He earns a top-10 ranking here based on some excellent defensive metrics — no surprise, as his glove carried him through the minors — and a high walk … Ahmed’s return has pushed him into a utility role and the rest of his offense remains a work in progress, even though at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds you would expect more power.

When Ahmed returned on April 22, Perdomo stuck with the big-league club in a utility role, playing some second and third base.

Ahmed has not played every game since his reinstatement, and Perdomo has filled in solidly for the two-time Gold Glove winner.

The rookie is 12th among MLB shortstops in ultimate zone rating — a defensive metric measuring how many runs a defender saved — with an innings minimum of 100.

On offense, the hits have not yet piled up for Perdomo, although his walk rate remains among the highest in baseball. He’s registered 18 walks to 12 hits, and his on-base percentage sits at .350 despite a lowly .188 batting average.

His walk rate is in the 98th percentile of the league, per Statcast.

Perdomo provides versatility as a switch hitter, although his batted ball metrics leave much to be desired. Still, manager Torey Lovullo said before the season that Perdomo worked on gaining more power during the offseason, and the young shortstop has hit multiple rocket foul balls in recent games.

McDaniel wrote that the lack of power Perdomo has shown during games could undermine his worth this season.

Perdomo is a switch-hitting shortstop that’s good at everything except for in-game power. That could be a big enough problem that pitchers get more aggressive and it undermines his offensive upside, pushing him to a utility role, but it’s still early.

The D-backs are back in action Friday against the Chicago Cubs in the first of a three-game series.

First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. Tune in on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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MLB insiders: D-backs SS Geraldo Perdomo among most impressive rookies