Yankees’ Aaron Boone answers looming Oswald Peraza promotion question

Alexander Wilson
isiah kiner-falefa, yankees

There is a strong argument to make that the New York Yankees should pull up Oswald Peraza after the August 18 service time deadline. The Yankees can call up Peraza without accruing any service time if it occurs after that date.

Considering how well Peraza has played over the past few months and his defensive proficiency, there’s no reason they shouldn’t give him a couple of reps at shortstop to test his capabilities at the big league level.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who was acquired in a big trade with the Minnesota Twins priot to the start the 2022 season, has had his fair share of ups and downs. The analytics don’t take well to IKF, who features a 79 wRC+. That means he’s 21% worse than the average MLB player, despite hosting a .265 average with a 31% on-base rate.

Sometimes, contact doesn’t matter when it is weak. He has contributed 16 doubles this season, but his inability to hit for power has hurt the Yankees at times. Peraza has already recorded 15 homers on the season in Triple-A, showcasing more power and better hard-hit metrics.

However, that doesn’t mean manager Aaron Boone is planning on calling up Peraza anytime soon. In fact, he indicated the opposite when asked on The Michael Kay Show.

The Yankees are seeing the best version of Peraza with Scranton:

This season, Peraza is hitting .255 with a 32.3% on base rate and .439 slugging percentage. He’s tallied 15 homers with 42 RBIs and an impressive 26 stolen bases.

In the month of June, he hit .303 with a 38% on-base rate, four homers, and nine RBIs. In July, he hit .300 with a 37% on-base rate, five homers, and 15 RBIs.

Defensively, Peraza hosts a .974 fielding percentage at shortstop over 644.1 innings this year. He’s only allowed seven errors in that time span, so his defense-first approach could help the Yankees. Nonetheless, management is still content with Kiner-Falefa‘s range and athleticism, despite short hopping throws frequently and bobbling routine plays.

The numbers don’t take kindly to IKF, but clearly, the Yankees brass feels he’s an asset in the batter’s box and as a defender. One value that gets pushed under the table is IKF’s ability with runners in scoring position. This year, he’s hitting .325 with a 35% on-base race with RISP. He’s tallied 32 RBIs with just nine strikeouts in 80 at-bats. At the very least, that’s a pretty big positive to consider in the equation.