Good piece from C. Trent Rosecrans in the Enquirer about Jose Peraza:
In 218 plate appearances entering Saturday’s 6-1 win against Milwaukee, Peraza is hitting .327/.349/.423. He’s been a better offensive player than many of his critics gave him credit for being at the time of the three-team trade that brought him to Cincinnati from the Dodgers.
And Reds manager Bryan Price thinks he’s just getting started.
“He’s 22 years old. When you start to realize who we’re evaluating and at what age – if you’re evaluating Jesse Winker as a 22-year-old, or Jose, they’re young men,” Price said. “They’re not in any way, shape or form the total package yet in a physical standpoint or a knowledge standpoint. It’s just a really nice template to look at it to say this guy is going to be really good as he matures.”
Read the entire piece; it’s worth your time. I love the fact that Bryan Price talked fondly about both Peraza and Jesse Winker, as young guys who he expects to improve over the next few years.
You know, we spent about a month before the All-Star break saying that the Reds needed to bench Brandon Phillips and put Jose Peraza in the lineup every day. Little did we know that we were going to inspire both Phillips and Peraza to start hitting the ball well.
We’ve talked about Phillips ad nauseum, and I’m getting tired of the subject. (It’s pretty clear what the Reds need to do, in my opinion.) But Peraza — now that’s a subject that’s fun to discuss.
After letting him rot on the bench in the Queen City, the Reds finally sent Peraza to Triple-A so that he could play every day. When he finally returned, Peraza has been on fire (add fire emoji here): .383/.392/.525, not counting last night’s game, in which Peraza went 2-5.
For the season, Peraza is hitting .330/.354/.425. That’s a slash line that I’ll happily accept from a middle infielder. Poor Zack Cozart, with his injured knee, must be really nervous right now (not to mention Phillips). Do I expect Peraza to continue that level of production? No, of course not. But he’s making a very strong case that he needs to be in the 2017 starting lineup.
So yeah, that’s a corollary to what I said about BP yesterday. If Peraza isn’t playing six games a week next year from the opening bell, this team is not as serious as is should be about rebuilding.
What do you think? Have you seen enough of the kid so far to entrust shortstop to him? Somewhere else (second base, maybe)? What’s his ceiling?
As for me, I’m very bullish about Peraza. Remember, the kid is just 22 years old. Two years ago, he was the #1 prospect in the Braves organization. After last season (before he was dealt to Cincinnati in the Todd Frazier deal), he was the Dodgers’ #4 prospect. He has a great pedigree, and he’s demonstrating that he can be a valuable player on the big league level.*
Let’s not get too excited over 200+ at-bats. But we can be cautiously optimistic. The kid has talent.
*And perhaps the best part of Peraza’s success is that it can be another embarrassing episode for one particularly insufferable ESPN analyst.