The New York Yankees are in dire need of reinforcement, whether through a trade acquisition or capitalizing on their promising young players to ignite the team’s performance.
The Potential of Oswald Peraza
Despite his promising performance, the team seems uninterested in affording more opportunities to one of their top infield prospects, Oswald Peraza.
Last season, Peraza managed to hit .306 with a .404 OBP across 18 major league games. Although he has played 12 games this year with the primary team, hitting .188 with a .316 OBP, these statistics derive from too-small a sample size to warrant any definitive conclusions.
Impressively, Peraza logged a 15.8% strikeout rate and walked at nearly an 8% rate, showing commendable plate discipline and unfortunate contact luck.
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Peraza’s Stellar Performance in Triple-A Scranton
In his 34 games with Triple-A Scranton this year, Peraza has hit .292 with a .360 OBP, smashing 11 homers, 24 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases. Currently boasting a 125 wRC+, Peraza has consistently excelled while awaiting another chance to prove his worth at the MLB level.
Peraza has demonstrated increased power while maintaining his discipline at the plate. In addition to his offensive contributions, Peraza is a defensively superior infielder with the potential for a future gold glove. Despite his versatility in playing shortstop, second base, and third base, general manager Brian Cashman refuses to promote him to any of these three positions.
In fact, Cashman said on Tuesday that Peraza needs to “finish off his development,” which is a curious statement given how Volpe is performing.
Oswald Peraza vs Anthony Volpe: A Fair Contest?
There is a compelling case for Peraza competing with Anthony Volpe for the starting shortstop position, given that the 22-year-old infielder is only hitting .189 with a .264 OBP this season. Despite posting nine homers with 27 RBIs and 15 stolen bases, Volpe holds a mere 70 wRC+, indicating he is performing 30% below the average MLB player this season.
Furthermore, his defensive metrics have shown inconsistency, accruing seven errors with a .971 fielding percentage over 595 innings.
Despite these figures, the Yankees’ management appears committed to extending Volpe’s leash this season, regardless of his struggles.
An Urgent Decision Needed on Volpe’s Development
In June, Volpe hit .167 with a .222 OBP and .532 OPS, scoring just one homer and three RBIs, with 15 strikeouts and three walks. The Yankees must make a crucial decision about his development as he clearly isn’t improving.
At the very least, Peraza should be considered for third base given Josh Donaldson’s comparable struggles. The veteran infielder is hitting .151 with a .233 OBP but has scored six homers in 17 games. With Donaldson unsure of his baseball future beyond the 2023 season, it indicates a potential lack of the competitive spirit the Yankees need. With Peraza making waves in Triple-A, what’s the worst that could happen?