I would call fantasy baseball sleepers my “All-Want Team,” except it’s not always that black/white for Grey, said the color scale. David Peralta was a surefire “Want” last year; this year, he’s a “Want for the Right Price.” Peralta had three homers and two steals through the first five weeks of the season. That comes out to about 16 HRs, 11 SBs over the course of the season. It’s not a completely fair prorating job because he wasn’t hot once in that time. You’d figure for at least a portion of the season he’d heat up and raise his season stats. Though, maybe he would’ve gotten colder too. Alas, we’re left with prorating five weeks out to a season because on May 8th began the dreaded Day-to-Day Dance of Day-to-Dayness. Injury update on May 8th, “David Peralta is out with a bruised forearm.” On May 9th, “David Peralta missed his 2nd straight day with a bruised forearm.” On May 10th, “Peralta visited a wrist specialist.” Don’t you love how the injury isn’t even the right body part when it starts? On May 12th, “Peralta’s wrist exam showed no structural damage.” Wait, this is when it gets good. On May 13th, “Peralta says he won’t need the DL.” Does anyone have any question how this is about to turn out? On May 15th, “Peralta hit the 15-day DL with wrist inflammation. It’s believed to be precautionary.” Please tell me you know where this is going. On August 10th, “Peralta underwent season-ending wrist surgery.” The final bit of injury news is, “Peralta will be ready for the start of spring training.” I guess I’m the idiot here, because I know injury news is always five to seven times worse (exact science!) than what is relayed to us and I’m choosing to believe he will be ready for spring training, even though his previous eight months is littered with land mines on the dance floor of the Day-to-Day Dance of Day-to-Dayness. So, what can we expect from David Peralta for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
He’s not even being drafted. He’s being written off in just about all leagues. You can have him for next-to-nothing in an NL-Only league, so he’s a sleeper everywhere. He’s penciled in to the cleanup spot in Chase Field, right after Pollock, Lamb and Goldy. Maybe that changes, but Peralta’s left-handed bat plays well exactly there in the lineup. I’d put the chances of him falling much further than the five-hole as about as likely as him ending up hitting 2nd and Lamb moving to five. The D-Bags have only so many places to bat a true left-handed bat — 2nd or 5th seems about right. As for his power, he hit 17 homers in 2015, and looked to be on his way to that figure again last year. I think he gets there no problem, but with the possibility for more. He upped his fly ball rate and was having a bit of bad luck with his HR/FB% through the five weeks last year. He had a 28.5% fly ball rate, if he had continued that, he would’ve hit 103 fly balls, and if he would’ve heated up and got back to 17% HR/FB rate he had the year before, he would’ve hit 18 homers. Obviously that’s not a huge uptick from 17 HRs, but it shows he can hit 17 HRs again. Alone, that’s nothing, but he has 10-steal speed and a .292 hitter in 285 career games in one of the best parks in the middle of a solid top five. Again, this isn’t “David Peralta, yay!” This is “David Peralta, can’t get a much cheaper sleeper in even the deepest of leagues.” Frugality isn’t sexy, or at least I like to think it’s not sexy because frugality reminds me of my grandmother — shudders — but Peralta’s one of the best sleepers due to his low, low price of nothing. For 2017, I’ll give David Peralta projections of 73/18/85/.289/9 with a chance for a wee more, said the leprechaun.