Welcome to the show, Arizona’s top shortstop prospect
Ranked #3 among MLB.com’s Diamondbacks prospects and #75 overall, the 21-year-old Dominican is a switch-hitter who is generally regarded as the best defensive player in Arizona’s farm system. He was signed by the Diamondbacks at the age of just sixteen in July 2016, for a bonus of just $70K, has hasn’t played formal minor-league ball above High A. Though that is, obviously, largely due to the cancellation of last season. But in his final “official” stint, playing for the Salt River Rafters in 2019’s Arizona Fall League, Perdomo hit .316/.417/.418 for an .834 OPS, while more than three years young than the average player there. But overall, he has more walks than strikeouts in his minor-league career (169 to 148).
When he takes the field, Perdomo will become the second-youngest position player to make his debut with the Diamondbacks. Justin Upton was 19 years, 342 days old when he had his first game for Arizona in 2000. The only other 21-year-old to have his first game for Arizona was another shortstop, Jerry “Walkless Wonder” Gil, who was 21 years, 313 days old in his 2004 debut. Gil gets that nickname because he played 30 major-league games and never took a walk. His 88 career PA without a BB are most by any non-pitcher since 1930. Let’s hope that Perdomo’s career trajectory trends more towards Upton than Gil…
The move is necessary because of the lingering knee injury to Nick Ahmed, which has proven more serious than anticipated. It first cropped up early in spring training, and he missed a couple of weeks there. He seemed to be coming back, and manager Torey Lovullo has frequently said the shortstop was “day to day”, and that if it was the playoffs, Ahmed would be in the line-up. However, Ahmed spoke to the media yesterday and reported that the Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) injection that he received, didn’t seem to be helping him as quickly as it should. He said he was feeling better, “but not to the point where it’s great to let it go and start playing every single day.”
He has still been able to get in some baseball-related activities, for example Nick has been hitting in the cage, and taking a few ground-balls. Interestingly, he says the knee has tended to feel worse at the start of the day. “The first portion I didn’t feel very good. It was early in the morning, it was an 8 a.m. start, so it was really stiff in the morning. But as the intersquad type thing went on, it started to feel better, which is encouraging… I don’t know if it’s just fluid in there from the injections still which makes it stiff in the morning, but as it gets going it seems to loosen up now, which is better.“
Nick Ahmed audio [or link]
The injury to Nick Ahmed, and need/decision to play Ketel Marte in center left the team using Josh Rojas at shortstop in the first two games, and the results were less than impressive. Given Rojas’s struggles, particularly defensively, but also at the plate (he’s 0-for-9 with no walks), it seems the team felt the need for a “true” shortstop, and decided to pull the trigger on starting the Perdomo era. I imagine they should be able to backdate Ahmed’s stay on the injured list, so if he is deemed fit to come back before 10 days are up, that would be fine. This may make Perdomo’s stay in the majors potentially a brief one. But I’m fairly certain it won’t be his last.