4) Jhonny Peralta (St. Louis Cardinals)
After a 2013 season in which he was suspended 50-games by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, Peralta looked to prove to everyone that he was still a quality shortstop. What he actually proved is that he’s one of the game’s best at his position.
In his first season as a Cardinal, Peralta lead all shortstops this past season in WAR (5.8), and was second in home runs (21). Although some worry about him defensively, Peralta held his own at the position, having a .981 fielding percentage this past year.
If you ask the Cardinals, they would definitely tell you that signing Peralta to a 4-year, $53 million dollar contract during the 2014 off-season was a great move. Peralta has solidified himself as a top 5 caliber shortstop in this league, and the Cardinals hope that he can keep up this production for years to come.