2022 Fantasy Baseball: Martin Perez Is Legit

by Yeon Lee
MLB DFS 4-12-22 Stacks

Welcome to this week's edition of Sabremetrics Deep Dive: 2022 Fantasy Baseball: Martin Perez is Legit!

Martin Perez had been a Ranger for seven years before he got traded to Minnesota Twins in 2019. His 4.63 ERA in 761 innings with 462 strikeouts wasn't impressive at all. No one in Texas seemed to miss him. After two years with Boston Red Sox, he came back to Texas to start the season in 2022.

Surprisingly, he has posted a shiny 1.96 ERA allowing only two home runs in 87.1 innings this season. Based on the track record, his stats do not feel sustainable. We will dive into his stats to see if it's true.

2022 Fantasy Baseball: Martin Perez Is Legit

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Reduced Long Balls Allowed

In the last four years, he had allowed 1.4 home runs per game on average. This was one of the biggest issues he had to deal with. As mentioned above, he somehow reduced it down to 0.2 from 1.4.

How did it happen? There are a few things that contributed to keeping the ball in the park.

Refined Pitching Mix

First of all, his go-to pitch has switched from cutter to sinker. Cutter, his most thrown pitch in 2021, was to blame for his inflated allowed home run rate.

Sinker was his main pitch until 2019 when he started to throw cutters. His cutter had been a nice addition for him until the last season. He allowed seven home runs on cutters in 2021. It's the same as the total amount of home runs that he allowed in 2019~2020.

However, he wasn't that good when he was mostly throwing sinkers. How is he more dominant than before with the same sinker? It's worth noting that his fastball usage is noticeably diminished to 7.9 from 13.1. The four-seamer hasn't ever been helpful for his 11-year career. Thus, abandoning it for the better pitches is probably the wise decision.

Improved Command

His command is one of the biggest reasons how he revived his jeopardized career.

Click to Enlarge: 2021 Martin Perez

 

Click to Enlarge: 2022 Martin Perez

If you look at the location, it looks much more dense and smaller compared to the last season.

Especially, he's been consistently attack at the bottom right of the zone with the changeups, and its outstanding result is credited to his improved command. His 2.22 BB/9 is also career high. It's considerably lower than the career average 3.19.

Conclusion

So far, we have found that fewer long balls allowed and improved command are the main factors that have contributed to Perez's success in 2022. However, is it sustainable?

Although he possesses 1.00 HR/9 as a career average, it doesn't seem that this could last the course of the season. 2.4 HR/FB is also unreasonably low. He is going to have a couple of bad days.

However, his command and refined pitching mix are ostensibly legit. I believe around 3.50 ERA is reasonable enough. He's a trade target if someone in your league doesn't believe in his improvement.


Thanks for reading the 2022 Fantasy Baseball: Martin Perez Is Legit article. Check out more Fantasy Baseball content from the F6P team!

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