D-backs SS Geraldo Perdomo’s All-Star selection a dream come true, literally

Jul 7, 2023, 8:24 PM

Geraldo Perdomo...

Geraldo Perdomo #2 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates his two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the second inning at RingCentral Coliseum on May 15, 2023 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The MLB All-Star teams were set when Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Geraldo Perdomo spoke to his mother earlier this week.

His mom, Fatima, told the 23-year-old about a dream she had, one in which she saw him with some of his teammates, other players and media in a loud stadium, like the All-Star Game.

“She didn’t know how to explain it to me because she doesn’t know anything about baseball,” Perdomo said Friday. “I imagined what she tried to tell me but I said, ‘Well, maybe next year. Maybe in two years.”

Perdomo spoke to reporters Friday because he had been selected as an All-Star, replacing Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson (heel). At 23 years old, he’d made his first Midsummer Classic because of his standing among the players ballots, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal explained.

His peers voted for him in only his second season playing regularly after getting thrust into a starting spot in 2022 due to injuries.

Perdomo said his mother cried when he called her with the news.

“I was just running around the stadium a little bit when Torey (Lovullo) told me that,” Perdomo said. “I couldn’t believe it, honestly. The roster was announced already, two more days until the All-Star break, I didn’t expect that.”

Perdomo said it has been a goal of his to make the All-Star Game but not only for himself.

His cousin, someone he said was like a brother growing up, Yewri Guillen was a Washington Nationals prospect in 2011 when he died of bacterial meningitis at 18 years old. Perdomo was 11 at the time.

“I think that was part of his dream too, to be at the All-Star Game, to be here in the Show,” Perdomo said. “So for me, it’s just like a dream come true, just for him.”

Perdomo said he initially planned on going home to the Dominican Republic during the break but then decided to stay in Arizona and get some work with hitting coach Joe Mather.

Last year, the switch-hitter had the lowest OPS in MLB with a minimum of 500 plate appearances at .547. He was one of three such hitters below the Mendoza line (.200) at the end of the year out of 132 players.

What he showed was terrific promise defensively and an ability to get on base even without hits. He had an 89th percentile chase rate and 74th percentile walk rate at 13.6%, according to Statcast.

That ability to work at-bats, something he’s had throughout his career, has improved even further in 2023, but this year, the hits started falling too.

Perdomo started the 2023 campaign as one of baseball’s hottest offensive players, slashing .397/.474/.618 over his first 26 games through May 6.

“I think it was a God, to not give up and believing in the process,” Perdomo said. “I learned about the last two years and (credit) the coaches too, like Joe, Damion Easley, all my coaches that helped me to be in this this moment right now. … I still believed in the process and I knew I can be better every every single day. So this is the key.”

The bat has since cooled, but he entered Friday still reaching base at a .381 clip, better than any other NL shortstop. Lovullo has pushed him into the lead-off spot against righties, although he still platoons with Nick Ahmed when Arizona faces lefties.

Perdomo also leads the National League with a 1.184 OPS when runners are in scoring position.

Lovullo called Perdomo’s All-Star selection a success story for the organization, as the shortstop was signed in 2016 as an international free agent and rose through the system to become one of its top prospects.

“I know he’s got a mother and father and family in the Dominican Republic that I asked him to call right away,” Lovullo said. “I’m sure they’re celebrating. It’s such a great story.

“He’s developed, comes up here, has the year he had last year and we talked about it as recent as yesterday about how frustrated he was by his year last year. He’s gonna never let that happen again, offensively made improvements and now he’s an All-Star. It’s a special moment.”

Perdomo is the fourth Diamondbacks player headed to the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday along with Corbin Carroll, Zac Gallen and Corbin Carroll.

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