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Schoenfield: D-backs’ Peralta among the best hidden gems in baseball

Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta (6) smiles as he returns to the dugout after scoring on a double by John Ryan Murphy during the third inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Friday, May 25, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Baseball is full of hidden gems.

Certain players just don’t click with their original teams. A new coach, organization or voice can help them rediscover the success that took them to the highest level of professional baseball.

For the Arizona Diamondbacks, outfielder David Peralta was the ultimate diamond in the rough who has become a productive, everyday player in Major League Baseball.

ESPN’s David Schoenfield put Peralta on his all-found-off-the-scrap-heap team for 2018. Peralta is having the best season of his career due to his ablility to stay healthy and increased power production.

Peralta didn’t make the All-Star team but has a strong case, ranking third among NL outfielders in WAR. Peralta was a pitcher in the Cardinals organization, got hurt and was released, and the Diamondbacks found him as an outfielder playing in Amarillo.

The D-backs discovered Peralta when he was playing for the Rio Grande Valley Whitewings of the North American League. The team and league both no longer exist. Peralta debuted with D-backs in 2014 and has been a mainstay ever since.

The 30-year-old outfielder has excelled, showing his versatility in the lineup rotating from hitting leadoff to hitting in the middle of the order when the team acquired Jon Jay.

Peralta is also putting up his best defensive stats of his career, posting a 0.3 defensive WAR through 84 games.

This is Peralta’s fourth full-season as a major league outfielder and he has been arguably the D-backs’ most consistent hitter during the season’s first half.

Peralta is under team control for two more years after this season, so expect him to continue patrolling the outfield in Arizona for at least the next few seasons.

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