As we all know by now, Jhonny Peralta going to the St Louis Cardinals, and this one has at least a little bit of intrigue if you ask me.
No, it does not make Jhonny Peralta jump or drop a tier as a fantasy shortstop, but it certainly can have an impact on his production depending on a lot of moving parts. In fact, this signing brings me to ask a lot of questions about the Cardinals next season.
The Cardinals offer a few solid fantasy options and could very well offer more next season. Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Allen Craig, and Matt Carpenter are fantasy gold, as was Carlos Beltran who is now a free agent and seems likely to depart. Beltran’s vacancy opens the door for someone else to join the fantasy party — not that kind of fantasy party.
Perhaps Peralta is that person. Most of last season, Beltran occupied the 2 or 3-hole for St Louis. I assume this upcoming season the third spot in the lineup will belong solely to Matt Holliday. Last season Matt Carpenter was predominantly the leadoff hitter and thrived in the role. So the logical opening is the second spot in the lineup. That could easily be filled by Peralta if the Cardinals plan to keep everything else as close to last season as possible.
However, the other big moving part to this equation—and I mean BIG—is Matt Adams. If Billy Butler is “Country Breakfast”, then Adams is “Country Breakfast Buffet”. The Cardinals could simply move Allen Craig into the second spout and to rightfield primarily and open up first base for “Country Breakfast Buffet” (I am making this happen, just go with it). If they do that then Jhonny Peralta probably ends up batting 6th at best. This wouldn’t kill Peralta’s fantasy potential or anything, it just wouldn’t be nearly as appealing as if he were batting second.
Ultimately only time will tell, but the Cardinals have an abundance of hitters with the talent to be big fantasy contributors. The way they are ordered in the lineup will have a lot to say with how valuable they’ll be. This is certainly a situation worth monitoring through the hot stove season.