Look Back and Ahead to 2013: Shortstop

Continuing with our look ahead to 2013 position by position, we came to one of only two positions on the club that might be unsettled entering the year, as trade rumors persist. Despite that, might we be in line for a boost in productivity at the plate from incumbent Jhonny Peralta, if he sticks around?

2012 Recap

Following an All-Star season in 2011 it was safe to say that many people expected a bit of a drop in production from Jhonny Peralta in 2012 but not to the degree in which it happened. Peralta saw his average (.299 to .239), OPB (.345 to .305), and SLG (.478 to .384) all fall from the previous season. More concerning was his ISO falling 35 points. The lack of power can be contributed to his ground ball rate rising from 35.8 % to 41.4%, his fly ball rate falling from 44.2% to 36.7%, and his home run totals nearly being cut in half. His numbers contributed to a total WAR of 2.6.

Deeper Dive: Peralta's Defense

One of the major questions marks surrounding the 2012 Tigers was certainly the infield defense and Peralta was one of the major concerns. While he was always recognized as having sure hands, many people regard Peralta as a below average defender due to his lack of range. When looking at advanced fielding metrics it may come as a surprise to fans that Peralta was actually one of the better defenders in baseball last season from the shortstop position. Among all qualifying MLB shortstops from the 2012 season Peralta posted the fourth highest UZR at 9.9 and the fifth highest RngR at 6.2. His 11.7 UZR/150 was the third highest in all of baseball and a 3.6 ErrR was second only to gold glove winner J.J. Hardy. While that may not meet the smell test in ranking him as one of the top defensive shortstops in baseball, Peralta continued to make all the routine plays while committing just seven errors all season, leading to the second best fielding percentage among MLB shortstops at .988%. It's unlikely his defense will be impressive, but it's arguably not the pain point many have insinuated.

2013 Outlook

While the Tigers have spent the offseason considering acquiring a new shortstop they have yet to pull the trigger on one, meaning that as it stands now Jhonny Peralta will enter the season as the Tigers everyday shortstop. Given that his home run –to-fly ball rate was down over 30% from the previous season, it is reasonable to expect a rebound and to see his power numbers to go up in 2013. His average is in line for an improvement as well as his BAbip he posted in 2012 was 25 points below league average.

As he enters the final year of his contract it remains to be seen what the Tigers do following the season. Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth will again be the primary backups at the position should Peralta get injured or need a day off.

AtlantaDugout.com Recommended Stories

  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.

Up Next


0 Fans online
    Join The Conversation