Should the Yankees shake up the shortstop position with star prospect?

Alexander Wilson
isiah kiner-falefa, yankees

With the All-Star break approaching in a few weeks, the New York Yankees could look to give some of their top prospects a chance to feature at the Major League level. Given the Bombers feature a 13-game cushion in the AL East, now is the best chance to get players like Oswald Peraza some experience with the top team.

In addition, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, acquired in the Minnesota Twins trade, has struggled the infield’s most difficult spot. Last season, IKF posted a .972 fielding percentage at shortstop with 10 defensive runs saved above average, indicating stellar defensive play.

However, his numbers have dropped off significantly this season, posting a .964 fielding percentage with zero defensive runs saved above average.

Offensively, Kiner-Falefa has also struggled, hitting .263 with a 31.6% on base rate. He hasn’t hit a single home run the season, tallying 18 RBIs. With an 81 wRC+, IKF is playing below league average. This could suggest management give some reps to Peraza, who is crushing in the month of June.

The Yankees should give Oswald a chance to shine:

Peraza is currently on a 10-game hitting street, including five hits in his last two games with two homers. On the season, he’s hitting .239 with a 30% on-base rate and a .404 slugging percentage. He’s smacked nine homers with 23 RBIs, showing significantly more power than IKF, albeit at a lower level.

Defensively, there’s an argument to be made that Peraza might be a better option immediately at shortstop, recording a .977 fielding percentage with 23 double plays turned over 437.1 innings. While the Major League level is a bit different with higher velocity and added pressure, the Yankees have to give Peraza a chance at some point.

Luckily, he’s only 22 years old, so making his MLB debut now will give him a ton of confidence and added value if Cashman wants to flip him in a trade.

This likely wouldn’t be a permanent move given the confidence management has in Kiner-Falefa, but given the sizable cushion the Yankees have in the AL East and MLB standings in general, giving Peraza an opportunity to showcase his talents is a good thing.