We're continuing our previewing of the Detroit Tigers player by player. Expect much of the bullpen and the bench players to be doubled up a bit during the final week before the season, but we'll goone a day until then, by uniform numbers. I reserve the right to go out of order either on purpose or by accident.
Jhonny Peralta #27
Last year, Jhonny Peralta surpassed the expectations of most onlookers when he played shortstop acceptably well for the Tigers while also putting up one of his best seasons yet at the plate. If you like defensive metrics -- remember to take them all with a grain or two of salt, by the way -- Peralta was actually above-average at his position defensively. A slash line of .299 average / .345 OBP / .478 slugging made him above-average offensively at his position and gave him one of the best seasons of his career.
Could we see a repeat from Mr. Peralta? Well, I wouldn't go that far. Don't get me wrong, I don't think he's going to revert to 2009-10 Cleveland Indians numbers with OPS around .700. On the other hand, he hasn't managed to put together two strong years in a row during his career either. He also had an elevated BABIP last season, so a bit of regression may be in order. Put it all together and I'll say a 275 average, .335 OBP and .450 slugging is a good starting point.
Maybe good hitting in the lineup will be the cause of more good hitting. I've been wrong on Peralta once already, maybe I'll be wrong again. But I feel confident in saying a step backwards in his gaudy stats is the most likely occurrence in 2012.