As the New York Yankees prepare to reintegrate Josh Donaldson back from a hamstring injury into a regular role, it’s reasonable to question why they aren’t providing more playing opportunities to Oswald Peraza.
Given that Peraza remains under control for six additional years, it would seem beneficial to allocate development time to him now. It’s possible they will hand him a chance to win the 3B position in 2024, but he’s ready to take on the challenge.
The Yankees cannot trust Josh Donaldson:
Donaldson, coming off one of his least productive offensive seasons, is set to resume his key position at third base. Meanwhile, the Yankees seem hesitant to allow one of their leading infield prospects, which is certainly discouraging.
In 12 MLB games this year, the 22-year-old achieved a .188 batting average with a .316 OBP, recording three RBIs. He struck out only 15.8% of the time with a 7.9% walk rate. Despite these figures, his 64 wRC+ surpasses some of the team’s other role players, notably Oswaldo Cabrera and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
While both Cabrera and Kiner-Falefa offer value as utility outfielders, and Peraza is limited to infield positions, he merits the chance to demonstrate his abilities at the plate.
Given that the young infielder achieved a .306 batting average with a .404 OBP in 18 games with the Yankees last season, it’s evident that he still holds considerable untapped potential.
Oswald Peraza is tearing up Triple-A:
In 17 Triple-A games this year, Peraza has garnered 24 hits, five home runs, and 14 RBIs. He struck out merely 14 times in 72 at-bats, achieving a .333 batting average, a .385 OBP, and a .968 OPS.
Peraza is destined for the MLB regardless of the circumstances, even if that necessitates a trade from the Yankees to reinforce the starting rotation or left field.
Given the team management’s reluctance to afford Peraza the same opportunities extended to Anthony Volpe — securing a starting position outright and having a long leash — he continues to excel in the minor leagues, bolstering his case for promotion.
The debate over promoting Peraza and providing him with more playing time than Donaldson is straightforward. Donaldson’s contract is nearing its end, and his presence could disrupt the infield configuration.
On the other hand, Peraza delivers exceptional defense at multiple positions and is still refining his offensive prowess.
Even if Peraza isn’t considered a long-term solution, his time in the major leagues could be used to enhance his trade value.
However, the Yankees may regard his service time as a valuable asset, in which case another team might prefer that they minimize it as much as possible, thereby increasing his value.