The New York Yankees declared Anthony Volpe the winner of the Spring Training shortstop competition this week. After Volpe completely dominated Spring Training, the Yanks top prospect forced the bombers hand and now Volpe will be starting at shortstop on Opening Day.
Entering the spring, many thought Volpe ranked third out of the shortstop options. Oswald Peraza was the favorite and Isiah Kiner-Falefa was still on the team and as a veteran, he was likely above Volpe. Volpe only had 20 games at Triple-A last year and most of the time, New York likes their prospects to truly conquer a level.
That said, the Yankees said it would be an open competition and the best player would win out. While they said that, many didn’t expect them to hold true to their word especially if Volpe proved to be the best guy for the job. Well, he did and they did.
With Volpe winning the starting job, Oswald Peraza was optioned to Triple-A. Peraza had a great year in Triple-A last year and then was very solid for the Yankees when he got called up at the end of the year. He doesn’t have much to prove in the minors, but where he’s played could tell us his future with the Yanks.
Yankees plan will be revealed
The ship has pretty much sailed on Oswald Peraza being the starting shortstop of the New York Yankees. Outside of an injury to Volpe, Peraza is officially blocked from that spot. With that in mind, one thing to watch with Peraza is where they decide to play him in Triple-A.
When he makes his season debut, if he’s playing at shortstop, I don’t think his long-term future is in New York. To me, if he’s playing at short, it’s saying that the Yankees want to show other clubs his value at that premium position and he’ll ultimately be used as a trade piece.
However, if he is spending the majority of his time at third base or second base, it tells me the Yankees want to hold on to Peraza. The Yanks have Josh Donaldson manning the hot corner this year. However, Donaldson will be a free agent next year leaving his spot open.
New York could focus on Peraza playing third this year grooming him to take over for JD after the 2024 season. Another thing to keep in mind is Gleyber Torres. Torres could be used in a trade himself which would open up second base. If you see Peraza spending most of his time at second, it’ll signal to me that Torres is on the block.
No matter what, it’s worth watching over the next month or so. I’ll be checking out those Triple-A box scores to figure out what the Yankees plan is for the talented Peraza.