Oct 10, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstopJhonny Peralta
(27) walks off the field after game two of the NLDS against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
5. Jhonny Peralta (Second Half)
Ok I am going to tread carefully here. JHonny Peralta had a really good overall year. He finished the season with a line of .275/.334/.411 with 44 extra-base hits (26 doubles, 17 homers, and 1 triple), while driving in 71 runs. On the surface, that’s pretty good from your shortstop. Peralta was definitely the first half MVP, with a slash of .298/.355/.473 with a wRC+ of 127 according to Fangraphs, and 33 of his 44 extra-base hits.
However, Jhonny was much worse in the second half. From July 12th till the end of the season, Peralta hit .251/.315/.344 with just 12 extra-base hits (six doubles, five homers, and one triple), his wRC+ was a lot lower as well at 82. This was a big disappointment — Peralta at times seemed completely out of sync at the plate during the second half and the postseason. Somewhat relative of his struggles, Peralta was constantly put in the 4-5 spot in the lineup despite other hitters doing better and his constant struggles.
Looking at Peralta’s batted ball numbers via fangraphs, doesn’t necessarily point to much other than him being a little later on pitches in the second half resulting in a 5.2% drop in Peralta’s pull percentage, which is what Peralta is when he’s on. Throughout the season, Peralta only had two home runs to the opposite field and none in 2014.
So, for Peralta to see a drop in his ability to pull the ball more often is going to lead to a lack of success for the right handed shortstop as he simply doesn’t go the other way with much regularity. Peralta also didn’t have much backup help this season or last season for that matter as he appeared in 318 of the 324 games the past two seasons. Having Pete Kozma as the backup SS all season lead to this.
That does it for the disappointments this season. Check back later for the next piece in this series, where I will talk about the players who had top performances for the club.