Top 100 NYY Prospects: Oswald Peraza
Across the "Big-4" prospect sites is that the Yankees have 3 Top-100 prospects this year. Let's take a look at each of them:
Past Prospect List Performances:
Though he signed as an international prospect in July, 2016, it took until the Yankees had put him on their 40-Man roster after the 2019 season for Oswald Peraza to really be considered a top prospect in the system. He made his first appearances on Yankees prospects lists going into the 2020 season, and made his first appearance on a Top-100 list just last season.
Though the greater baseball world did not notice him in the lower minor leagues, the Yankees were very aggressive with Oswald Peraza's development. And even though it was risky, this has been a major positive, as Peraza was able to continued to show quickly that he could stick it at each higher level. In 2021, Peraza made the jump from A+ ball all the way to an late-season stretch at Triple-A. He was rewarded with making it on all "Big 4" prospect lists- MLB Pipeline, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and Fangraphs- ahead of the 2022 season. This is how he did:
2022: MLB Pipeline (#60), Baseball America (#55), Baseball Prospectus (#61), Fangraphs (#39)
Peraza's marks were helped a ton by his showcasing his ability to hit during the 2021 season. There were no questions about his ability to play defense beforehand, with it being one of the main reasons he started appearing on Yankee-only prospect rankings in the prior years. However, during the 2021 season Peraza hit to a combined .297 average while making the jumps from High-A (.306 AVG in 28 games), to Double-A (.295 AVG in 79 games), to Triple-A (.286 AVG in 8 games). He also hit 18 home runs across that season.
Last season, Peraza did see a decline in batting average while in the minors (he hit .259 over 99 games in Triple-A), though he did hit better in limited playing in the Major Leagues (he hit .306 over 18 games). He also hit 19 home runs in Triple-A, compared to just 1 when with the Yankees. This isn't a concern going forward about Peraza, who is going to be 23-years-old this season, and who is someone whose numbers should continue to improve with more playing time and experience.
2023 Top-100 Prospect Biography, Rankings, & Write-Ups:
This year, Peraza has found himself back on all 4 lists, and on each he experienced a jump-up from last years list.
2023: MLB Pipeline (#52), Baseball America (#62), Baseball Prospectus (#48), Fangraphs (#40)
And here are the write-ups from each publication:
MLB Pipeline: (Link) - Ranked 52nd
Age/D.O.B.: 22 Years Old/ June 15th, 2003
Height/Weight: 6'0"/200 Pounds
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
"Though Peraza showed the potential for solid or better tools across the board, the Yankees were able to sign him for just $175,000 out of Venezuela in 2016. The pandemic layoff delayed his development but he has broken out since returning, totaling 38 homers and 73 steals in the last two seasons. He batted .306/.404/.429 during his first callup last September, claimed a spot on the American League Championship Series roster and is the favorite to claim New York's starting shortstop job in 2023.
Peraza has more bat speed and strength than most shortstops, and he began translating it into average game power when he added loft to his right-handed stroke in 2021. Most of his home run pop is to his pull side and he has become more aggressive about looking to turn on pitches. He displayed a more patient, contact-oriented approach in his first month in the big leagues and likely will turn his swing loose more often as he gets more acclimated.
With superior speed, range and arm strength to more famous Yankees shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe, Peraza likely will push Volpe to second base when the latter arrives in the Majors. Peraza has smooth actions and advanced instincts at short and could play all over the diamond if needed. His aggressiveness and savvy are also evident on the bases, and he has succeeded on 82 percent of his steal attempts as a pro."
Baseball America: (Link; sub. req.) - Ranked #62
(Unfortunately, I cannot share the entire details of the Baseball America write-up as it is behind a paywall. However, I can share a small blurb from each:)
"One of the better defensive shortstops in the Top 100, Peraza has carried forward the progress he made to his batting profile during the 2020 shutdown. He hits the ball hard consistently and makes good zone contact. Peraza made his MLB debut in 2022 and is ready for a larger role."
Baseball Prospectus: (Link; sub. req.) - Ranked #48
(Unfortunately, I cannot share the details of the Baseball Prospectus write-up as it is behind a paywall, nor did they supply a small blurb.)
Fangraphs: (Link) - Ranked #50
Height/Weight: 6'0"/176 Pounds
Scouting Grades: Hit (45/45) | Raw Power (50/50) | Game Power (40/50) | Run (60/60) | Fielding (55/60) | Throw (55) | Future Value (50)
"An outstanding international find for $175,000, Peraza is a plus-run, plus-glove shortstop with average pull power.
Peraza had another solid offensive season, this time as a 22-year-old at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, where he slashed .259/.329/.448, hit 19 homers, and stole 33 bases. He performed well during a September call-up to New York, posting a BABIP-aided .306/.404/.429 line in 18 games. It was enough for the Yankees to roster him for their postseason series against Houston, who worked Peraza with sink and breaking balls in the bottom of the zone, which he consistently swung over the top of. His swing is geared for pull-side damage. He loads his hands high and cuts down at the ball, which makes him tough to beat in the upper two thirds of the strike zone because Peraza is so short to those locations. However, this type of swing also makes it tough to scoop underneath low pitches. Peraza seems to realize this and tends to let strikes in the lower third of the zone go by until he absolutely has to swing at them. His ability to do this consistently is surprising considering that Peraza is a fairly aggressive hitter in general, likely to run OBPs in the .310-.320 range.
Peraza’s true carrying tool is his shortstop defense. He is sure-handed and slick, twitchy and acrobatic, wielding plus range, hands, actions and arm strength. His internal clock is precise and allows him to make fundamentally uncompromised throws to first with confidence because he knows he’s going to beat the runner there. He is quite comfortably the best defensive shortstop on the Yankees 40-man entering the 2023 season and likely to play there every day in the near future, producing on par with an average regular at the position."