How well will Jhonny Peralta field Third Base?

Yesterday I conducted a little poll about our new third baseman Jhonny Peralta (yes Peralta has been with the team for a bit, but he hasn’t been our regular third baseman before). Here are the results.

This isolates his fielding from everything else. After all, he’s not going to whack two doubles every night like he did last night. All 17 voters think he’ll be average or better, so let’s take a look at some stats.

In 214 career games at third base, his Fielding Percentage (.980 as opposed to 972) was above league average, his Range Factor Per 9 Innings ( 4.42 as opposed to 4.41) was about average, and his Range Factor Per Game (4.26 as opposed to 4.37) was below average.

So his caught what was hit at him, but he was average or slightly below average getting to the ball. The Cardinals proved adept at positioning him at shortstop though, so I assume that’ll come in play here as well.

However, there’s one big problem here. According to Baseball Reference (Jhonny Peralta’s Stats) the last game he played at Third was in 2010, when he was 28. He was in his prime then, and presumably quite a bit more mobile than he is now, at age 34. Again, positioning will help, but how will going roughly 6 years without playing a game at a poosition in the big league level affect him? Especially right out of the bat? His first few games may be ugly out there as he adjusts. With time, I’m sure he’ll get better, but how much so? His reflexes aren’t as good as they were when he was 28 (nobody’s are), so how will he handle some of those screaming liners that are sometimes fired at the third base position?

Admittedly Peralta was acquired for his bat, but his unexpected solid play at shortstop was a nice boost. Can we expect that at third base? I’m not so sure. I hope I’m wrong.

No quick hits today, as I have to leave for work soon.


As always, thanks for reading.

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