Jhonny Peralta leads Cardinal shortstops in HR since 2004

Make no mistake, when John Mozeliak reached out this off-season and signed Jhonny Peralta to a multi-year contract to play shortstop (for now) for the Cardinals, it was about improving the offense at the position. While Peralta has been very good on defense this season (2nd in defensive runs saved with 14, according to Baseball Info Solutions – Zack Cozart is 1st with 15), it was always the bat.

Many have criticized the move because of Peralta’s perceived lack of performance at the plate – after all, that .239 batting average isn’t even Brendan Ryan-esque, right?

But man, is he slugging. To wit:

Rk Player HR From To G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Jhonny Peralta 13 2014 2014 87 344 306 32 73 23 0 39 32 1 64 .239 .317 .441 .758
2 David Eckstein 13 2005 2007 398 1749 1564 216 465 67 8 115 113 0 107 .297 .357 .375 .732
3 Rafael Furcal 12 2011 2012 171 748 673 98 176 29 3 65 61 1 75 .262 .323 .367 .690
4 Brendan Ryan 9 2007 2010 415 1332 1206 165 312 56 10 95 88 8 166 .259 .314 .344 .658
5 Pete Kozma 3 2011 2014 189 555 502 57 117 26 3 50 45 9 114 .233 .293 .315 .608
6 Ryan Theriot 1 2011 2011 132 483 442 46 120 26 1 47 29 0 41 .271 .321 .342 .662
7 Cesar Izturis 1 2008 2008 135 454 414 50 109 10 3 24 29 1 26 .263 .319 .309 .628
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/8/2014.

What you’re reading there is that Peralta, in half of a season, has the most home runs IN TOTAL of any Cardinal shortstop since Edgar Renteria left after the 2004 season.

Peralta’s Cardinal “career” ranks as the highest slugging percentage of any Cardinal shortstop’s career. I’ll give you small sample size on that one, given that his “career” is only 344 plate appearances, but Peralta’s 2014 as a season would rank 11th best in Cardinal history as well. Heady company in either case.

I’ll certainly be beaten over the head with “yeah, but PEDs” and “he’s not good at defense” (yes, that actually happens) just as I have been on Twitter when pointing out *GASP* facts about Peralta’s performance and value relative to his contract. I’ve addressed the PED thing before. If you still believe he’s not been good this season defensively, I can’t help you.

Peralta’s season is good for 2.8 fWAR as I type this. Converting to dollars, he’s been “worth” $15.5 million SO FAR this season. How much is he making this year, again?

  • Cardinal70

    Home runs, starting (i.e. played the most games) shortstops, St. Louis Cardinals, per year:
    2013: Pete Kozma, 1
    2012: Rafael Furcal, 5
    2011: Ryan Theriot, 1 (sure, Furcal hit 7 after the deal, but Theriot still played more there)
    2010: Brendan Ryan, 2
    2009: Brendan Ryan, 3
    2008: Cesar Izturis, 1
    Total: 13

    2014: Jhonny Peralta, 13.

    Amazing to actually get production out of the shortstop position!

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