Yankees’ Gold Glove-level infielder is facing the stark reality of another demotion

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at New York Mets
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees know what Oswald Peraza could become if he reaches his potential. Now 23 years old and having battled a few injuries the past few seasons, Peraza is eyeing a spot on the active roster, even if it means featuring as the team’s primary infield utility man. However, his performance this spring has been inconsistent, which certainly doesn’t suggest he’s ready to make the transition to the MLB full-time.

Peraza has been fighting his way through the minors since 2017 and has desperately wanted to become a Yankee, but his inconsistencies at peak moments have set him back significantly.

Having just dealt with a shoulder issue last week, Peraza was re-injected into the lineup on Wednesday, but he was unable to get anything going. Over two at-bats, Peraza failed to get on base, having struck out four times over seven at-bats this off-season, suggesting he still needs plenty more reps and experience to start scratching the surface of his upside. However, there’s no doubting his desire and work ethic.

“It has always been my dream to play with the Yankees,” Peraza told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday. “This is the team that I love and that I grew up loving. I have this opportunity in front of me and I’m trying to do the best that I can, improving on and off the field as a person and player so that I can be up here playing in the big leagues.”

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The Yankees Simply Need to Keep Feeding Peraza At-Bats

The Yankees have struggled to give Peraza the time needed to develop his skills at the MLB level. Back in 2022, when he made his MLB debut, he played 18 games before spending 63 games last year in Triple-A. He played 52 games with the Yankees down the stretch, hitting .191/.267/.272, but all they saw was a player heading in the wrong direction offensively. He struggled to develop an identity in that regard, and having failed to pick up a hit this spring training and posting a -55 wRC+, those issues don’t seem to be trending any better.

“I want to be consistent,” Peraza said. “We’re always searching to be as consistent as we can at the plate. I know I can do it, I know I have the ability to do it.”

For now, the Yankees could consider him their primary utility man because of his Gold Gove-level acumen, but if injuries start to arise and he struggles offensively, they may have no choice but to call up a prospect like Jorbit Viva or acquire a veteran that can help supplement several positions with average offensive upside.

Fortunately, Peraza will have a few more weeks to recover his flow and put together some good offensive performances, hopefully regaining some confidence and instilling some in the coaching staff.

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