D-backs’ Chip Hale: Keep your eye on David Peralta

Mar 9, 2016, 8:29 AM
David Peralta, RF...
David Peralta, RF
LISTEN: Chip Hale, Dbacks' Manager

The Arizona Diamondbacks have star power on their roster.

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt, starting pitcher Zack Greinke and outfielder A.J. Pollock all recently appeared in the top 20 in MLB Network’s Top 100 Right Now rankings.

With a talented trio like that, the D-backs are expected to contend in the National League West in 2016.

But over the course of a long 162-game season, others must perform. The D-backs are confident in that supporting cast to get the job done this year. Manager Chip Hale is really excited about outfielder David Peralta’s continuing improvement.

“From the start of last year until now, his maturity level is much higher,” Hale told Burns and Gambo Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “We’re going to let him play against left-handed pitchers for the most part. He’s really comfortable with that.”

Hitting against lefties on a regular basis will be a change for Peralta and the D-backs. In 2015, Peralta played sparingly against southpaws, batting .250 (20-for-80) on the season. The year prior, the Venezuelan hit .197 (15-for-76) versus lefties.

Hale loves what the former pitcher brings to the ball club.

“He’s a leader. He’s a leader by the way he plays, his energy is great,” Hale said. “We saw in the last week, when he got hurt, we were a different team, so it’s important to keep him healthy. The way he plays, we have to be very careful, because he does play so hard. He’ll run through walls and we’re still working on that stuff.”

Peralta is also shifting positions this year. After starting for much of the season in left field last year, he’s taking over as the every-day right fielder, and will work with assistant coach Dave McKay on that transition.

While Peralta has had success, he hasn’t become a household name around Major League Baseball. Hale believes that’s going to change.

“I think people will know about him by the All-Star break,” Hale said.

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