- rating: 6.35
- age: 33
- 2020 Stats: .300 BA, 5 HR, .773 OPS, 106 OPS+
- 2020 salary: $7 Million
- 2021 status: Signed through 2022
2019 was a lost season for David Peralta, failing to play more than 100 games due ongoing shoulder issues. Those issues ultimately ended his season early, when he and the team opted for surgery rather than continued rehab. As I wrote in his review last season, the hope was that the early trigger would make sure he was ready to go before Opening Day. In retrospect, maybe that wasn’t worth worrying about too much, given the whole, you know, July start date we ended up with. Regardless, he was ready for the start of the season and was able to give the team a full, uninjured, year.
I think many fans went into the season hoping for a bounce back following his injury, that would get him close to the totals that he reached back in 2018, easily his best season in the majors. While he didn’t reach those levels in 2020, though really did any of us?, he was still a good, dependable left fielder for the Diamondbacks.
2020 was a good season for Peralta, and it was arguably his third best season of his career. He wasn’t the offensive force he was in 2018 with 30 home runs, but he still put up a respectable slash line of .300/.339/.433. That batting average was both the second best on the team this season, behind only Starling Marte who, of course, departed at the deadline, as well the second best of his career. The one area that was disappointing, however, was the home runs. In a severly shortened season in 2019, he managed 12 homeruns. However, this season in about half the games, it was only 5.
As far as his defense goes, it’s always hard to judge in small sample sizes, and those are all we have to work with this season. He did not make a single error over 54 games, but I think we all know the limitations of just relying on errors to judge fielding prowess. 4.9 UZR, which when you look at it as UZR/150 is actually better than his Gold Glove season in 2019. However, he was actually -1 defensive runs saved, as calculated by the Fielding Bible. In reality, he was probably somewhere in between the two. Not a defensive liability as show by DRS, but probably not a defensive guru like a 12.5 UZR/150 would suggest.
This season for the next two years is probably the most realistic outlook for Peralta. The 30 HR season back in 2018 is looking more and more like an anomaly in his career, and 14 to 17 per year is a much more realistic expectation for him for the remainder his contract. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, though, especially if the defense remains average or so, given his $7.5 million per year he is making. This doesn’t even factor in those intangibles he brings to the team as the clear emotional, if not actual, leader of the squad.
Unless something drastic happens, David Peralta will be the starting left fielder for the team for the next two seasons, and that doesn’t suck.