The Tuesday Discussion: Is It Time for Peraza?
August 9, 2022
This week we asked our writers... Should the Yankees call-up Oswald Peraza?
Here are their responses:
Ed Botti - They don't need him, but I have no problem rewarding him with a call to the big club.
Derek McAdam - If the Yankees plan on using him daily, I believe Peraza should be called up. But if he plays once or twice a week, I don’t believe they should bring him up and should continue to let him develop in Triple-A. It seems, as of now, that he won’t be playing that often.
Chris O'Connor - I would say yes, if only to get rid of IKF in the everyday lineup. Among 24 qualified shortstops, he ranks 8th in DRS, 12th in UZR/150, and 19th in OAA. The Yankees have to be able to do better than an average defensive shortstop with no home runs and an 84 WRC+.
Ethan Semendinger - The Yankees are infamous in recent years for messing with their top prospects during the transition between the minor and major leagues. Of note, players like Rob Refsnyder (who was a top prospect for the Yankees in the mid-2010's), Clint "Jackson" Frazier (who did have concussion issues, which added another element), Deivi Garcia (who was given a shot only after he started to perform worse in Triple-A). None of these guys were moved up to the MLB, even when the Yankees were starting far worse players like Stephen Drew, Brett Gardner (before his slight resurgence), and J.A. Happ.
Look at what the great teams in the MLB do. The Houston Astros have been playing Jeremy Pena at shortstop this whole season. The Dodgers continue year-after-year to try out their top pitching prospects in the bottom end of their rotation. It is time for the Yankees to follow suit and bring up a promising young player to replace an average/below-average player in IKF. IKF thrived in a super utility role, allow him to go back to that role. Lets see what Peraza can do. He has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. He's been hitting over .300 since June 1st! It's time.
Lincoln Mitchell - Calling up Oswald Peraza isn’t going to hurt, but it is not going to do much to solve the larger problems facing the Yankees. Starting pitching that has been pretty mediocre lately and an inconsistent offense are not problems that are solved by tinkering at shortstop.
Mike Whiteman - I've been pleased with Isiah Kiner-Falefa's performance at shortstop. There may come a time - and that may be as soon as next year - that Peraza takes the position. For now, IKF adds contact hitting and speed/baserunning that has been lacking in recent times, and will be helpful in the postseason.
Paul Semendinger - Is it possible that Peraza infuses some life into the Yankees as Robbie Cano did when he was first called up? Maybe. I have supported IKF, but his lack of power creates a hole in the lineup. He's just not a threat. Peraza is consider a good defender, plus he has pop (15 homers at AAA). IKF's defense has been suspect as of late. I would bring up Peraza and let him play regularly for a few weeks to see how he does. If nothing else, he gets a taste of the big leagues. If he is ready, he could add a new dimension to the club - a club in need of a positive boost, especially with the injury to Matt Carpenter.
James Vlietstra - Isiah Kiner Falefa is not necessarily having a bad year. On defense he’s committed 11 errors as the everyday shortstop. Not spectacular, but with his range and arm he’s got 7 DRS. His offense is a .642 OPS and a OPS+ of 85. Overall good for a WAR of 1.7. Basically a little bit under an overage shortstop. You can win a World Series with him as your every day shortstop. He has one more year of arbitration before being a free agent.
Marwin Gonzalez has turned into a non factor. If his roster spot is to be sacrificed I have no problem handing it to Oswald Peraza. If he is deemed unready, then Tyler Wade is a viable replacement.
IKF was brought in to be a stopgap place holder until Peraza was ready. In my opinion, the 22 year old is ready.
He’s long been regarded as a top notch defender. Through the middle of June, Peraza’s offensive numbers were substandard. But the sport’s number 35 overall prospect has come on strong since then, hitting extra base hits and stealing lots of bases.
At this point, AAA doesn’t seem to be challenging enough for him. So give the kid an audition. If he’s not ready, he will be better for it come spring training.
The only reason that I can think of for not giving him a shot revolves around service manipulation and having an extra year of team control when he’s 28.
Cary Greene - It’s not even remotely smart for the Yankees to call up Oswald Peraza presently, mainly because it would mean parting ways with Marwin Gonzalez or Aaron Hicks. Where would they put him? However, per the 2022 CBA, once Active MLB Rosters expand from 26 to 28 on September 1st, I would expect Peraza to be on the first shuttle out of Scranton and the Yankees may give instructions for that driver to step on it. Also impacting the September 1st Active Roster Expansion is that for any doubleheaders played through the final day of the season, the roster can be expanded to 29 players - which means it's all the more likely we'll see a few Yankee rookies finally get a cup of coffee (or perhaps, another cup - in the event they've already had one or more).
Given that September is fast approaching and factoring in that the Yankees current starting shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa has a wOBA of only .284, which is well below the current league average of .316 and he’s only slashing .274/.319/.322 with an OPS of .641. Of course, that’s not why the Yankees gave the starting shortstop job to Kiner-Falefa, he was brought to the Bronx because the Yankees liked his defensive profile, which so far has translated to a +2.8 Fangraphs rating, a +6 DRS / +1.5 UZR 150 rating and a -2 Outs Above Average Statcast rating. Kiner Falefa owns a .967 Fielding Percentage and he’s made a whopping 11 Errors (5-Fielding, 6-Throwing) in 98 games at shortstop this season.
Peraza has a .974 Fielding Percentage, having made seven errors in 74 games at shortstop this season with the Scranton Rail-Riders, while posting a .775 OPS to go with 26 steals - while only being caught 3-times. Peraza also has 15 home runs and 16 doubles and is slashing to the tune of .258/.328/.447 so it would seem that he compares favorably to Kiner-Falefa who may be destined to be the Yankees utility player. Peraza is no doubt a tic-better of a defensive player than Kiner-Falefa is and offensively, it would appear that Peraza’s bat would play a lot better than Kiner-Falefa’s does.
This winter, I was convinced the Yankees ultimate plan was to hopefully be able to bring up Peraza when rosters expand and move Kiner-Falefa to a utility role where he could pinch run and then be used as a late game defensive-replacement. This appears to be exactly what the Yankees are planning and given that Peraza is now playing a lot better than he was earlier in the season, I would look for NY to promote Peraza as soon as they’re able to do so without having to DFA and thus lose a player who may be out of options (someone like Gonzalez for example).
Oswald Peraza deserves to get a chance down the stretch to prove he belongs.