Exit Interview: Jhonny Peralta

The last couple of years, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season.  This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2014 offseason.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.  Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.

This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Cast.  Get instant feedback on whatever question you want to ask, whether it’s what’s going to happen in tonight’s game or which Muppet is the best.  Cast lets you ask anything that’s on your mind and quickly see what other folks are thinking as well.

Player: Jhonny Peralta

Season stats:  157 games, 628 PA, 61 R, 38 2B, 21 HR, 75 RBI, 3 SB, 58 BB, 112 K, .263/.336/.443  116 OPS+

Hero/Goat: Hero 10, Goat 10

Overall grade: A

Positives: Set a new Cardinal team record for home runs by a shortstop, which was also well more than all the starting shortstops since Edgar Renteria combined had hit for the Cards….hit for much more power (17 HR) against righties, but his OPS against lefties (.879) was over 100 points higher….hit .301 in late and close situations.

Negatives: Ten of his home runs came in low-leverage situations, as he hit only .246/.299/.385 in the high-leverage ones….hit .249 away from Busch, though 13 of his homers were on the road….hit only .161 with an extra-base hit (a double) in the postseason.

Overview: We often think of John Mozeliak’s particular skill set as translating better to making trades than signing free agents.  Yet while Peralta seems like a no-brainer selection now after a 20-home run season, we’d do well to note that not everyone was happy when he was signed.  (To be fair, there are still a few that continue to hold his PED past against him.)  Mozeliak knew what he was doing, however, and Peralta paid him off in spades during the first year of the contract.

While his fielding won’t win him any awards, he did play a much better shortstop than expected.  He might not have had the range of a Pete Kozma, but he tended to make the plays that he could get to without muffing the obvious ones.  When you are putting up the numbers he was, you take that and not ask him to be something he’s not.

Peralta was streaky and didn’t really do much against the Dodgers and the Giants this postseason, but he did enough that he earned his first year money and made a good dent on the rest of the contract.  After years of weak-hitting shortstops, it was a welcome relief.

Outlook: There’s no particular reason to think that Peralta would fall off the map next season.  He might not be quite as productive, but he should be well within the neighborhood, which will be a great thing for the Cardinal offense.

  • janrayewilliams

    Well, he obviously wasn’t much of a positive influence and/or mentor to the young Oscar Taveras, was he? Being a fellow countryman from the Dominican Republic, a 12 year MLB veteran, and 10+ years older than Oscar, the Cardinals SS could possibly, with some effort, have helped OT with following rules, playing the game the right way, and maturing into a professional ball player who takes care of himself for his teammates and others who rely on him. But then that would have meant that JP would have to have followed the rules and policies of MLB and played the game the right way himself, wouldn’t it, and we all know that he has willfully and consciously chosen NOT to do those things.

    The Cardinals SS and all other MLB players who WILLFULLY AND PURPOSEFULLY chose to order, pay for, take delivery of and use synthetic Human Growth Hormone, a felony, are pitiful and disgraceful excuses for Professional Baseball Players and role models for all younger players.

    They should NOT be competing against players who have not used HGH for awards and money in Major League Baseball, what used to be a sport, but is now a ‘business’ that is financed by its fans, merely the observers of the “game”. HGH use for even 6 months has long-lasting anti-aging benefits for up to 10 years. On every level of knowledge, morality, societal ethics, and sportsmanship, it is WRONG!

    Oh, but MLB is a business, so cheating is OK. Do your short, arbitrarily set time-off, come back and we’ll pay you more than you ever made before, put your name in our record books, and hold you up to be the “Best in the Business”! SAD!

    • PitchersHitEighth

      My goodness you seem like a miserable person. I’m so sad for you that you could find opportunity in the death of Taveras to attempt to forward your agenda against Peralta. Really sad.

      • janrayewilliams

        Not miserable at all, in fact this has nothing to do with happiness or misery, does it for you? I’m just stating the facts. That’s all. I did not write one thing that is not in fact the truth.

        • PitchersHitEighth

          You and I have very different definitions of fact and truth.

          • janrayewilliams

            In your opinion, what in my post is not fact and truth?

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