The New York Yankees, as of last Thursday, are likely to give the third base gig to veteran infielder and former Gold Glove award winner DJ LeMahieu. Despite the fact his offensive ceiling is very much limited at this point, LeMahieu still has the highest floor among candidates to start at the hot corner.
However, the Yankees can’t ignore infielder Oswald Peraza as they did in large portions of the 2023 campaign anymore. They should give him a fair chance to win at least semi-regular at-bats with the Yankees in 2023 or use him as a trade piece so he can kickstart his career somewhere.
So far, Peraza has been too good for Triple-A and too bad for MLB, but 248 total plate appearances in the majors is not enough sample to write him off as a bust. In those, he has hit .216/.298/.306 with a 75 wRC+, but to be fair, Anthony Volpe has an 84 wRC+ in 601 trips to the plate, which is better but not by much.
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The Yankees should give Peraza a chance or trade him
One of them received every chance to struggle, slump, and adjust, and the other was optioned very, very quickly during his bad stretches. We are not saying that Peraza is a better prospect than Volpe, but the former was a top-100 guy less than a year ago and deserves a chance, if not for the offense, for his incredible, Gold Glove-caliber defense.
Volpe is a very solid defensive shortstop, and he proved it this year by winning the Gold Glove. Peraza, however, has always been considered the better fielder and could be really good in the hot corner.
With Peraza, it’s a matter of giving him an extended chance to learn and adjust to big-league pitching. Letting him know that even though he struggles, he won’t be sent down to Triple-A whenever the team needs a roster spot. This is a career .273/.348/.424 hitter with a .772 OPS in 436 minor league games, and if most of those ratios translate to MLB someday, he could be an above-average starter.