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2018 Arizona Diamondbacks Reviews # 1, David Peralta

The Freight Train!

A different type of train in Australia.
Transcontinental train in Australia.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

2018 rating: 8.98

2017 rating: 7.62

2018 salary: $3.3 Million (Arb-1)

2018 performance: 614 PAs, 164 hits, 30 HRs, 87 RBIs, 8.98.293/..352/.516 = .868 OPS. He played left field.

2019 status: He is on the D-backs 40-man roster, and he is projected to start the season on the 25 man-roster in left field.

David Peralta belongs in left field, although the reason is not good defense.

In two seasons (2015 and 2018), David Peralta played over 94% of his innings in left field. Those same two seasons were his best hitting seasons (OPS+ 137 and 124). Coincidence? Maybe. But in the other three seasons, when he played less than half his innings in left field, his hitting was less than his best (OPS+ 112, 86, and 100).

This season, David Peralta hit a career high 30 home runs. His previous best, 17 home runs, happened in 2015.

David Peralta won a silver slugger award.

This season, David Peralta was one of the three NL outfielders who won a Silver Slugger Award. Let’s look at how each player stood out.

Christian Yelich. Christian Yelich was best by most commonly looked at stats. More importantly, he had impact! He had the most games with Win Probability Added (WPA) of at least 0.1 (40 vs 36/28).

Nick Markakis. In the Majors, the percentage of Balls In Play (BIP) has been falling every year (see here and here). That trend is a troublesome problem for baseball. I subtracted home runs to measure balls-in-play when when the outcome is in doubt. By this new measure (BIP-HR)/(PA), Markakis is best (.75 vs .66/.62). And it’s not close! This season’s average in the Majors was .639 – so Markakis stood out as bucking baseball’s problem trend. In addition, Markakis struck out about half as often (.11 vs .20/.21). For those two reasons, Markakis was worthy of the honor. The icing on the cake is he won a Gold Glove, too!

David Peralta. April and June were excellent months with OPSs of .914 and 1.074 (let’s wait a minute to look at August). On 30 April, he was hit in the hand by a pitch by Tory Cingrani, which explains why May was his lowest slugging & OPS of the season. Comparing the three NL silver sluggers, Peralta had the best BABIP for ground balls (.286 vs .274/.259). Peralta stood out with consistency across several measures because he was nearly always first or second (he was third for wBA).

NL Silver Slugger Outfielders 2018

statistic Yelich Markakis Peralta
statistic Yelich Markakis Peralta
# games with WPA at least 0.1 40 28 36
(BIP-HR)/PA 0.62 0.75 0.66
SO/PA 0.21 0.11 0.20
BABIP for ground balls 0.274 0.259 0.286
Data from Baseball Reference and Statcast

In August, Peralta was extraordinary!

Diamondback fans and the baseball world noticed David Peralta’s hitting in August. Matt Musico compared the players who hit best in August (Justine Turner, David Peralta, JD Martinez, Tyler White, and Paul Goldschmidt). Peralta’s hard-hit rate was 62.7%. The following comparisons were truly extraordinary!

  • Peralta had the most homers (10).
  • Peralta ranked second with 1.141 OPS (Turner first).
  • Peralta ranked second with .371 ISO (White first).
  • Peralta ranked second with 203 wRC+(Turner first).
  • Peralta ranked second with 1.7 fWAR(Turner first).

A Second Chance: The Story of D-backs’ David Peralta

An amazing video documentary was created by Marcos Grunfeld and Gilbert Perez. Its audio is Spanish with English subtitles. David Peralta’s story is extraordinary! And his story continues.

Will Peralta be traded?

The Braves contacted the D-backs about acquiring Peralta. Were they interested in a fire sale acquisition, or were they truly interested? In either case, Peralta remained a D-back. Three reasons to trade Peralta:

  • The D-backs want to reduce costs. He is projected to earn $7.7 million in arbitration, which at the moment would make him the third highest salary on the team (behind Greinke and Tomas). If Greinke is traded, then Peralta would rise to second highest.
  • 2018 was a career-best season, including his silver slugger award. His trade value is high.
  • The D-backs have other players who could play in left field: Jarod Dyson, Steven Souza Jr., Christian Walker, and Ketel Marte.

Three reasons to keep Peralta as a D-back:

  • Peralta is a fan favorite. In October, fans rated him number one in a poll on the AZ Snake Pit website.
  • His nickname is cool. Kylee Sam wrote that in 2015, announcer Steve Berthiaume tagged David Peralta with Freight Train. “He’s a big guy and when he runs full speed, he gets up a head of steam like a big freight train.” -- Steve Berthiaume. “I like it, everybody likes the name so far, you know it’s fun.” – David Peralta
  • He excels at hitting!

Congratulations to David Peralta for his silver-slugger award! Let’s all cheer for “The Freight Train.”