The Peralta story is one of the best in baseball. Most of the fans here will be familiar with his journey. He was signed by the Cardinals out of Venezuela in 2005 at age 17 and entered their system as a pitcher. However injury and ineffectiveness lead to him being released in 2009. He had played both outfield and pitcher as a teenager before signing and was determined to keep trying to make it as a hitter and outfielder. That lead to him playing in the North American Independent league, where he raked in 2011 and 2012. He was signed by the DBacks in 2013, and made his major league debut in 2014. It’s a truly remarkable ascendency.
For a more thorough reading of his journey, from Mcdonalds worker and Indy league ball player to the major leagues, try This SI article . It’s a really good read.
Upon reaching the majors in 2014, Peralta made an immediate impact for the team. Going 2 for 4 in his very first game on June 1 of that year. In his 1st 7 games he hit .429 on 12 for 28 batting with 3 doubles and a homer. From the get go he was a breath of fresh air and enthusiasm, quickly becoming a fan favorite. His infectious smile and all out style of play are impossible to resist. While often times fan favorites turn out to be scrappy over achievers who aren’t actually that good, this is not the case with Peralta.
When healthy and playing his best, he’s been about a 4 WAR player, (2015 and 2018 have been his best two seasons). He has missed some time with injury, but Per 650 PA he’s averaged 3.5 bWAR in his career. He’s done this on the strength of above average batting, (career 115 OPS+) and positive fielding runs of +26.
Early in his career he was a triples machine, hitting 9 three baggers in under 400 PA in 2014, and then following up in 2015 to lead the league with 10. Considered by many to be the most exciting play in baseball, seeing David repeatedly rumble into third base helped earn him the moniker “The Freight Train”. The triples have fallen off in recent years, but in 2018 he had a career high 30 Homeruns. It was thought that this was the start of a new power level for David. However a shoulder injury early in 2019 seemed to affect his swing and power stroke and he fell off to just 12 HR in 99 games played before being shut down for the season in late August.
Coming off surgery to repair that shoulder, the team and Peralta agreed to a 3 year, 22 Million dollar contract this off season, covering his age 32 through 34 seasons. Not bad for a former fry cook. Both he and the team are confident the surgery has resolved his issue, and we can all look forward to seeing him being productive and providing thrills and spills for the next several seasons.
Congratulations David on both the extension and the latest honor bestowed here by AZSnakepit !