Should the Yankees pull up stud shortstop prospect for 2021-22 season?

The New York Yankees face a daunting future with the shortstop position in limbo, but at some point, they’re going to have to instill faith in their youngster, just as the Tampa Bay Rays did with Wander Franco and Braves with Ozzie Albies. A myriad of youngsters around the MLB are dominating early in their career, and confidence may have played a big factor in their success.

The Yankees have found it increasingly difficult to develop some of their young talents, especially after the failed Gleyber Torres experiment. The reality is, they’ve been trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Torres was always a spotty defenseman, so logically, you might want to avoid putting him at the most important infield position. Now that management has learned their lesson, it could be time to begin relying on some of their young minor-league talents and maximizing their strengths, especially after solid 2020-21 seasons.

One of the Yankees’ quality minor-league shortstops is Oswald Peraza, who’s ahead of Anthony Volpe in his progression and development.

Peraza enjoyed time in A+, AA, and AAA this past season. He mostly featured with Somerset, playing in 79 games and posting 353 plate appearances. Over those games, he recorded a. 294 batting average with 12 homers and 40 RBIs. He also stole 20 bases, showcasing speed and aggressive base running. As far as fielding, Peraza recorded a .972 fielding percentage and six errors over 592.2 innings.

His offensive production alone is worthy of Major League consideration, despite playing in just eight games with Scranton Wilkes/Barre, the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. At the very least, Peraza should start his season in Triple-A and be the first-priority call-up if needed at shortstop.

Some may say that pulling Peraza up this early is malpractice, but let’s take a look at Torres as a sample size. Back in 2017, Torres played in just 23 games with Scranton before begin called up in 2018. Torres played a total of 37 (14 came before moving to the bigs in 2018) games in Triple-A before receiving the call, so giving Peraza one more season max of minor-league level experience is essentially all they need to justify giving him an opportunity.

This could and will likely have an impact on how GM Brian Cashman approaches solving the SS spot this off-season in free agency. Leaning on this logic would suggest Carlos Correa isn’t a consideration, but a player like Trevor Story or Andrelton Simmons on a shorter contract may be more attractive. Cashman wouldn’t feel bad supplementing them with a young player if the deal is short, but you can’t simply replace Correa at SS out of the blue on a 10-year contract.

It’s undoubtedly an interesting argument — whether Peraza will be ready to make the jump. Torres hit slightly above .300 during his time in Triple-A, and Peraza is simmering just below. However, Oswald is a bit older at 21-years, so the Bombers will need to give him an opportunity before he becomes more of a trade piece than a legitimate long-term solution.