Peraza’s Eventual Call-up
It is simply bad vibes down in the Bronx. The New York Yankees just concluded a three-game road series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards dismantled the bombers, sweeping the series with 4–3,1–0, and 12–9 wins, respectively. It is the first three-game sweep the Yanks have faced so far this season. This is somewhat of a rock bottom moment for the Yankees. Since June 24, the Yanks hold an 18–21 record. This is a far cry from the record-setting pace the Yanks held in the first half of the season. The consistency from the pitching staff and the lineup’s ability to hit with RISP have all been lackluster. Injuries to Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo sure hasn’t helped matters either. While the Andrew Benintendi acquisition sealed up the holes in the outfield, questions still arise from their middle infield. To be more specific, the shortstop position.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been a mixed bag this season for the Yanks. At his best, he is a productive contact bat with a good, but not great glove. What’s hampered his success is his streakiness at the plate, and his inconsistency with the routine plays at shortstop. Kiner-Falefa was initially acquired to be a defensive first player with a sprinkle of contact hitting on top of that. Unfortunately for the Yankees, his bat has been the bright spot, and that’s not saying much. Out of 151 qualified hitters, he is 149th in hard contact, 141st in Slugging, and 138th in OPS. But anybody who has watched the Yankees this season knows his errors on routine plays are what is most frustrating. His ability to make the acrobatic play, but consistently over-throw or dirt a regular ground ball. With the Yankees missing out on several elite-level shortstops this past season Kiner-Falefa’s play has been less than ideal. With the postseason quickly approaching, it’s time for the Yanks to look inside their own organization to find their potential shortstop fix.
if you follow the Yankees closely, then it’s likely you’ve heard the name Oswald Peraza. He is ranked 35th on the top 100 prospects list on MLB.com, the 22-year old dynamo has had a breakout season. Initially touted for his glove, Peraza took a while to get going with the bat. But since June 1, Peraza is slashing .299/.372/.539 with ten homers, 15 stolen bases, and a 140 wRC+ to boot. Peraza could potentially be the spark plug in the back of the lineup that the Yanks are desperately looking for. The potential pop coming from his bat, and his fielding first play style is what separates him from Kiner-Falefa. Amid a team-wide slump, it’s time for Brian Cashman to call up the kid. This team needs energy, and they have a a 22-year-old rookie that can bring that energy.
Looking Ahead with the Yanks
The chances of Peraza being called up to replace Kiner-Falefa are 50/50. What might stop Cashman & Co. from calling up Peraza tomorrow is his rookie eligibility. The front office will want to keep Peraza’s service time under a certain amount so he’ll still be considered a rookie in the 2023 MLB season. The cut-off for rookie eligibility is 130 AB’s, and fewer than 45 days on the active roster. So only time will tell. By the middle of September, Yankees fans should know what direction the shortstop position will be heading.
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