Dynasty leagues are a little bit like the stock market. What makes a good owner is finding things that may go up in value; this can be players, draft picks, or even money (not all leagues allow trading money, but ours does). When you find a player that you think will go up in value you try to trade for him, pick him up, or draft him. Anyone can sign good players in the auction for a lot of money, but what sets the good teams apart is their ability to find the players that are going to go up in value, or as we say “break out.” I’m a fan of David Peralta. He has already made quite an impact for teams in 2015. Hitting .312/.371/.522 will do that. The good thing for us is that he is not being properly valued right now in fantasy baseball leagues.
Now is the time of the year for rankings. Every single site out there is coming out with their rankings getting everyone all set for their leagues. Thankfully, we have sites like FantasyPros to get us consensus rankings and average draft positions. Right now experts rank David Peralta an average of 40th among outfielders. He is being drafted on average as the 38th outfielder off the boards.
David Peralta came up as a starting pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals. After multiple shoulder injuries he decided to bow out and head back home to Venezuela where he remade himself into an offensive player. After an impressive year in an independent league he was signed by the Diamondbacks. He quickly shot up through the system, learning fast for a player already in his mid 20s. He’s only had a year and a half in the big leagues now, but he’s still been improving. From what I understand, he is a very hard-working and upbeat player.
Numbers? How about an improved hard-hit rate, going from 30% in 2014 to 35% in 2015? A wRC+ jump from 110 to 138? A HR/FB jump from 9.6% to 17.7%? Even within 2015 he improved all three of those stats, getting up to a 38% hard-hit rate and a 162 wRC+ in the second half. That’s destroying the baseball. He’s spend most of his time batting fourth behind Goldschmidt and Pollock, so the RBI opportunities will continue.
You want to know what the most shocking thing is? He only started 116 games. The logjam in the Arizona outfield was to blame. Well guess what, Ender Inciarte is gone and Yasmany Tomas sucks. David Peralta is going to have no problem being the permanent cleanup hitter. If we just took his 2015 stats and ignored any improvement whatsoever and prorated them for a reasonable 150 games we would be looking at 79 runs, 22 home runs, 101 runs batted in, and 12 stolen bases. That’s even giving him two whole weeks off. If you bake in some improvement due to his second-half numbers it’s not very hard to see 25-30 home runs with 200 combined runs and RBI. Those numbers look a lot like what we’d expect from someone like Ryan Braun, Adam Jones, or Matt Kemp, all of whom are going in the 15-25 range.
The only website I’ve seen give Peralta his due was ESPN when Tristen Cockroft put him 25th among outfielders. So at the very least that means I am not the only one thinking this is a huge value opportunity. For dynasty leaguers, you need to go out and get him now. He’s more than likely got a nice cheap contract or he might even be available in an auction because someone didn’t think he’s worth keeping around. Listen to me, get him now and lock him up. It’s a done deal. Guess what, I’ve already done that in my league. I traded Ken Giles ($1/3) for Peralta ($4/1) and a second-round draft pick back in November, so I put my money where my mouth is. That was before Giles was in Houston and in our league contracts can be doubled up each additional year so I traded away about seven years of a top-10 closer for three or four years of Peralta and a second-round pick (for the minor-league draft). But enough about me, don’t worry about my deal. Go and get him. Rarely are breakouts this easy to predict.