Last Saturday night, I took in a very nice game at Louisville Slugger Field where the Bats won 2-0 on a walk off homer in the 11th. After the game, I was fortunate enough to speak to Jose Peraza for a few minutes (thanks to the Bats org for providing RN with press access this season). Peraza speaks very little English and his translator was Hernan Iribarren. Because of the nature of the translated interview, I’m not going to give a pure transcription since Hernan started most of his translations with “What he is saying, more or less, is…” Anyway, here’s what I learned from Peraza.

First, I asked a very broad question about whether there was anything he thought Reds fans should know about him. I was told he is very quiet and easy to miss. That is, he’s not going to be an outgoing guy in the clubhouse, but he is, of course, going to play.

My next question was about his plate approach. I noted that his walks are up this year and that when I’ve watched him play, he has seemed to be a more patient hitter than I expected to see. I asked is this was a conscious change in approach or if we’d been misinformed. He said – quite encouragingly – that it is a conscious choice. He is trying hard “not to swing at everything.” Given the results he’s seen at AAA, that’s something we can all be encouraged by.

I also asked him about his position. He’s officially listed as a second baseman but spends almost all his time playing short for the Bats. On this particular night, he had a put out and 12 (yes, really) assists. While he’s no Cozart, he has always looked very smooth and polished at short to me. He told me, surprisingly, that the Reds had not spoken to him about their plans for him longterm. He said he thinks he might play second in the majors and he’s fine with that, but he’s also happy at short.

Last, I addressed the concerns with the Reds poor bullpen performance and asked how his curveball was. The quote (through Iribarren): “Anything to help at the majors.”

Overall, Peraza seemed quite personable and, boy is he young. If he can post anything like the .291/.336/.390 line he’s putting up in Louisville, he’ll be a serious asset to the Reds for a long time.

10 Responses

  1. lwblogger2

    Thanks Jason! Always a pleasure to read your stuff… I’ve been pretty down on Peraza but he’s playing well for the Bats and as the best prospect included in the Frazier deal, the Reds need him to be a quality MLB player.

    Yes, it is awesome that the Bats has recognized RLN with press credentials!

  2. Keith

    I’d like to say that I’m surprised by the Reds not speaking with Peraza about a plan, but then I remembered that the Reds probably don’t have a plan… This front office simply bewilders me.

    • ohiojimw

      This Reds behavior is probably typical for them. A couple of years ago, I read Lorenzen saying that no one with the Reds had spoken with him about how they planned to use him until he arrived at rookie camp after signing. The other MLB orgs he had spoken with had all told him they saw him as a position player first; and, he was surprised, to say the least, when the Reds told him he was now a pitcher (only).

    • lwblogger2

      There’s a joke here about the rebuilding plan and the fact that there is one, and it’s in a binder… I’m really going to try to just relax and see how the plan unfolds though. Complaining isn’t going to do any good. So, from this point forward, if I’m repetitive in my complaints about the front-office, or if I mention the rebuilding plan being in a binder, call me out on it.

      • ohiojimw

        I’ll consider myself reminded about Lorenzen. 🙂

        But at least I didn’t make any judgements on this pass, just stated the facts.

  3. I-71_Exile

    I’m very encouraged that his higher walk rate is due to a conscious choice and not just statistical noise.

  4. Patrick Jeter

    Hey, this is awesome, Jason! Thanks for sharing.

    I’m bullish on Peraza long-term. Perhaps a Ben Zobrist with less power and more speed.

  5. james garrett

    Can’t wait to see him after the break.

  6. Eric The Red

    I’m a few days behind on my Reds watching/reading. This is a terrific addition to the site, and a really nice write up, Getting that bit of perspective from a future piece of the puzzle while he’s still down in Louisville is really helpful, and even though you’ll probably never see this comment I wanted to say thanks.