David Peralta was one of several Dodgers veterans in 2023 to have been brought in on a one-year deal.
Peralta split the 2022 season between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Rays. Peralta put up above average offensive numbers in Arizona, as he slashed .248/.316/.460 with 12 home runs and 19 doubles in 87 games before being traded. With Tampa Bay, Peralta struggled mightily in the power department, failing to connect for a single home run while posting .652 OPS and 18 RBI in 47 games as a Ray.
The beginning to Peralta’s tenure as a Dodger started off nicely, as he went three for seven in his first two games against his former team, the Diamondbacks. In the month of April, Peralta was one of the worst hitters in all of baseball.
Peralta did hit his first home run as a Dodger on April 19 against the New York Mets, his first home runs since July 2022, yet he slashed .136/.148/.203 with just two extra base hits, striking out 12 times and walking just once. The one highlight from Peralta’s abysmal April was a walk-off two run single against the Chicago Cubs on Jackie Robinson Day.
As the weather began to warm up, so did Peralta’s bat. In the month of May, Peralta slashed .295/.343/.443 while collecting four multi-hit games. Within the month, Peralta raised his season average from .167 to .228 and raised his OPS from .415 to .596.
June was undoubtedly Peralta’s best month as a Dodger. Entering with just two home runs on the season, Peralta connected for three home runs, driving in eleven and slashing .365/.406/.556, increasing his season average from .228 at the end of May to .274, with his OPS eclipsing the .700 mark.
Peralta was off to a nice start to the month of July before the All-Star break, connecting for two home runs while raising his average to .283 and OPS to .757, the highest it would be through the rest of the season.
For the second consecutive season, Peralta’s power completely diminished in the second half of the season. Over his final 59 games of the season, Peralta hit just .231 with 23 RBI while failing to hit a single home run.
Peralta’s underwhelming second half was characterized by his month of September, where he became a liability at the plate. In September, Peralta slashed just .190/.227/.302 with six RBI, striking out 15 times and walking just twice.
That second-half decline was hastened by a left elbow injury that required flexor tendon surgery in October.
In the postseason, Peralta had one of the Dodgers’ four extra base hits in the NLDS loss to Arizona, being a second inning double in a Game 1 that was way too far out of reach for Los Angeles. Peralta went one for six in the three game series, with the double being his lone time he reached base.
It was a year of regression for Peralta, as he hit the least amount of home runs in a season where he played at least 133 games. It was the first time in his career that Peralta failed to reach base at a 30 percent clip, as his walk rate suffered to just 4.7 percent, resulting in a .294 OBP. His power numbers, aside from his home runs, decreased as well, as his maximum exit velocity, ISO, and BABIP all reached career lows.
Stats: .259/.294/.381, 7 HR, 55 RBI, 25 2B, 20 BB, 82 wRC+, 0.5 rWAR, 0.1 fWAR
Salary: $6.5 million, plus $1.5 million in bonuses for days on active roster
Game of the year
After a disappointing month of April, Peralta started off the month of May with arguably his best game as a Dodger. In the first game of a three game set against the Philadelphia Phillies, Peralta went two for four with a home run— just his second of the season— and a walk while driving in four, the most RBI he had in one game with the Dodgers, propelling them to a commanding 13-4 win over the Phillies and extending the Dodgers’ win streak to four games.
Peralta is a free agent.