D-backs’ Peralta ‘throws’ for the cycle

Whether in the field, at the plate or on the bases, it's been a rookie season to celebrate for Diamondbacks right fielder David Peralta.

Matt York/AP

PHOENIX — Some day, the way he is going, David Peralta will join the five other Diamondbacks who have hit for the cycle. His bat looks that good.

That would cover him on each side of the ball.

Peralta, a right fielder, has "thrown" for the cycle in a 10-game stretch, gunning out base runners at all four bases. Given the time frame, that may be as rare as an offensive cycle. 

On that of that, Peralta has done it in order, with a countryman and a double-crosser among his victims.


— Doubled Miami catcher Jeff Mathis off first base after a diving catch on Aug. 16.

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— Did not fall for some Bryce Harper misdirection and caught Harper going to second base on Aug. 18.

— Nailed San Diego shortstop and fellow Venezuelan Alexi Amarista trying to advance from first to third on a single last Friday.

— Threw Dodgers catcher A. J. Ellis out at the plate as he attempted to score from second on a single Tuesday.

"Great instincts," D-backs first base and outfield coach Dave McKay said. "I like to think he will be our right fielder for a long, long time."

Peralta made a nice catch on Reed Johnson’s sinking line drive to start the double play in Miami, but the Harper play was special — a textbook example of why McKay and the D-backs are so high on Peralta.

Harper singled to right field to lead off the fifth inning and took a big turn around first base before appearing to put on the brakes. It was all part of his devious plan. Harper was hoping to entice Peralta to throw behind him and cruise into second base. 

Peralta was prepared. He pump-faked to first base and held the ball as Harper took off for second base. Peralta then threw to shortstop Didi Gregorius covering second, and Harper was a sitting duck.

"Great instincts," McKay repeated. "He didn’t fall for it."

It was another case of Peralta’s aptitude showing.

"I was ready for that because he’s done it before," Peralta said. "He waits for the player to go to first base and then he goes to second. I knew it because I watch TV and I watch all these players."

Peralta, a former pitcher before converting to the outfield three years ago, has made a lot noise in his first three months in the majors. He stole home one night and hit a grand slam the next. He leads major league rookies with at least 100 at-bats in slugging percentage and OPS.

And he is gathering defensive techniques. After Peralta bobbled a few balls, McKay suggested a different way to position his glove so that the pocket was more wide open. Peralta adapted and has not made an error since. 

"He has a strong drive to be a good baseball player, a good outfielder," McKay said. "He’s done all the things right. He gets to the ball, gets rid of it, gets the ball back to the infield. We make him aware of what good outfielders do, and he listens. He’s a great student."

Peralta has played all three outfield positions since his arrival June 1 but appears most likely to continue in right field. The trade of Gerardo Parra created an opening, and Peralta has taken advantage of his opportunity.

"I feel pretty confident in right field. I’ve been working hard every day," Peralta said. "Everything is coming right now."

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