3/6/2018 0 Comments
By: Noah Wright
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Everyone likes a Rocky Balboa like story, right? The story of an underdog, but has an amazing story of how they found success, right? Of course you do, it’s just part of culture, and David Peralta is no exception to the underdog story type. Peralta has had a very inspiring story on how he has become one of The Arizona Diamondbacks most consistent, and productive hitters. Peralta’s road to The MLB was not easy for him, even having to work at a McDonalds to make enough money to pay for gas. This is how David Peralta went from failed pitcher, to all-star caliber outfielder.
Peralta, who was born on August 18th, 1987 in Valencia, Venezuela, was originally signed by The St. Louis Cardinals in 2005, as a pitcher. As an 18 year old, Peralta started his career out in 2006, when he pitched in 3 games (2 being starts) for STL’s rookie league team. In 2006, David pitched to a 5.00 ERA over 9 innings, while dealing with shoulder injuries, and a surgery along the way. The following season, Peralta pitched poor again, pitching for a 5.81 ERA in 52.2 innings, again dealing with shoulder injuries, and a second surgery. After multiple more setbacks in his recovery, The Cardinals released the then 21 year old pitcher in early May, 2009, seemingly ending Peralta’s career before it had started.
After recovering from the surgeries, Peralta wouldn’t give up his dream. He turned to the indy leagues, and reinvent himself as an outfielder. In 2011, his indy league journey would begin. Before the 2011 season though, Peralta would have to work at a McDonalds to have enough gas money to travel from his home in Florida to Harlingen, Texas. Once arriving at his new team, The Rio Grande Valley Whitewings, a team in the independent North American League, Peralta would put up big numbers that season. As an outfielder, Peralta .392/.429/.661 batting line, while also hitting 17 home runs, and taking 7 bases in 373 plate appearances (85 games). In 2012, Peralta would produce another impressive season, hitting for a .331/.392/.462 line with 3 homeruns, but 25 stolen bases, this time for Wichita Wingnuts, a team in The American Association. His impressive performance would catch the eyes of Diamondbacks indy league scout, Chris Carminucci. Peralta would text Carminucci back and forth for a full month, before The D-Backs would sign the now 25 year old outfielder in July, 2013.
Peralta would start his new path to the majors in The Diamondbacks single-A affiliate in 2013. Here, Peralta hit for an impressive .346/.370/.534 while showing power (8 homers) in 219 plate appearances (51 games). Peralta would start the 2014 season in their double-A affiliate, and would hit for another good batting line, .297/.359/.480 in 223 PA (53 games). After showing an impressive bat, and glove in the minors, David Peralta’s contract would be purchased from Double-A, and promoted on June 1st, 2014.
Peralta would make his debut on the same day as his promotion, June 1st, at 26 years old, 5 years after he was released from The Cardinals as a failed pitcher. In his debut, Peralta would 2/4 with 2 strikeouts, and two singles off of The Cincinnati Reds. Peralta would continue to show the impressive bat he showed in the minors, batting .286/.320/.450, with 8 homers, and 6 stolen bases in 348 PA, and 88 games in his rookie season. He would also show he could more than handle himself as a fielder to, with a total of 3 DRS, 6 assists, and -.2 UZR as well.
2015 would prove to be Peralta’s breakout year. During his second season in the majors, Peralta would bat for a robust .312/.371/.522 line, while also hitting 17 homers, stealing 9 bases in 517 PA’s, and also leading the league in triples with 10. Though his glove fell from his rookie year, (-2 DRS, -2.4 UZR), Peralta still compiled a 3.7 WAR. His WAR was better than all-stars like Russell Martin, Justin Upton, and Shelby Miller. While his OPS (.893) was higher than players like Andrew McCutchen, Manny Machado, Jose Abreu, Buster Posey, and Prince Fielder that year.
2016 would be a rough year for Peralta. After getting off to a slow start, Peralta would be shut-down for the rest of the season due to injuries, after playing just 48 games. However, Peralta would bounce back in 2017, hitting for a high average again (.293) and having an OBP/Slugging % of .352/.444. His glove would also rebound, having 6 DRS, 1.5 UZR, and 6 assists in the corner outfield. Peralta would also make his MLB Postseason debut this season in the 2017 NL Wildcard game, and went 3-for-5 in the game against The Colorado Rockies.
David Peralta is no stranger to the underdog story type. He’s been down, and seemingly out, but had the confidence and will to fight his way to being a solid producer in the majors. Peralta looks to add to his resume, as he enters 2018 as an important piece to The Arizona Diamondbacks roster.