2016 Reds

The Legend of Jose Peraza

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.

26 thoughts on “The Legend of Jose Peraza

  1. Proof that emotional , irrational reactions to things are just silly. A piece should be put together with the immediate reactions to the Frazier trade. The “predictions” about Peraza are hilarious in hindsight.

    • I agree Chuck. At the time of the trade it seemed there was a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth over what the Reds “didn’t” get for Todd. Schebler and especially Peraza are making that trade look better and better every day.

    • Just as silly to over react to 200 plate appearances. I like Peraza, but he kinda is what we thought he was right now; low floor, high ceiling. That’s fine. I like those players and I think those guys make adjustments and become stars as often as the toolsy, high ceiling guys do. See Altuve, Donaldson , Goldschmdt, Carpenter, etc.

      Bottom line: if you are gonna walk less than 5 percent of the time, run an iso under .100, and be average in the field then there is only so much value you can provide, even if you hit .300. Peraza needs to find some more power or get better in the field and on the bases. Despite his speed he has been very average on the basepaths thus far. I will give him a pass for his defense right now since he is playing all over the field, but he hasn’t looked like a very competent outfielder.

      • I posted similar thoughts on RML about the trade. While I’ll admit I may have been more harsh on the trade when initially went through, I’m still not ready to say it was the coup for WJ that some are now proclaiming it is after Peraza’s recent hot streak.

        There were many factors that went into play to recall when remember reactions. One is that the Reds FO seemed to be reactionary to the Chapman fall out when they made the trade. They also seemed to have a tunnel vision approach to acquiring Peraza. Even if it works out in this instance, that doesn’t appear to be an efficient way to run a FO effectively to me. Second, many of the negative reactions to the trade had to do with the Dodgers seemingly getting a better package of prospects just for being in the deal.

        This point, still remains to be seen. Thompson has put up the exact same amount of WAR as Peraza in 39 more PA. He was the secondary piece for the Dodgers. The primary piece, Montas has posted unreal K% in the minors this year, 41.2% and 31.9% at AA and AAA respectively.

        Further, as you mentioned, Peraza main questions were can he walk enough so that his value isn’t tied to BA, and can he hit for any power. So far the answers, in small sample size, are no. A 2.7 BB% and .094 ISO leave a lot to be desired. Coupled with a BABIP that’s higher than what he posted in AAA and for his career, we can expect to see some regression to the mean.

        While what he’s done at 22 has been impressive, the questions that presented themselves at the time of the trade are still valid, both about his ability to round out other aspects of his game, as well as the comparisons to what the Dodgers received in the trade.

      • I for one am not overreacting to 200 plate appearances. We won’t know for some time how good Peraza will be but if he was hitting .224 right now there would be people saying “I told you so”. I think the chances of his being a decent, or better, player are higher than that he will be a bust.

        • That’s probably true. I’m not one of those people, but yes, people would be saying that.

    • I agree, Chuck. We tend to draw too many conclusions about very young players based on past performance. People–young people especially–change with time and experience.

    • I think we are still in wait and see mode Chuck. The sample sizes on these guys are just too small. I do like what I’m seeing for the most part but the BB-rate still bothers me for Peraza. Maybe he can hit enough though. I know one thing. I’d rather be wrong about the Frazier trade and eat some crow than be right.

  2. With all due respect to Cozart, Peraza needs to be playing shortstop next year. Although not equal to Mozart in the field he has enough range and strong enough arm to play there and should only get better. Herarra or Suarez should be at second. If they are serious about the rebuild.

    • Peraza has shown very good hands and fielding ability. His arm is not as strong as Zach Cozart’s was at his peak, but I think he has a little bit better range. And really, Peraza has not been playing shortstop that long. Most of his play was at second base.
      Thanks to Brian Price OVERPLAYING Zach Cozart, his knee is sore and his trade value is practically zero. Next year, Peraza should be the everyday shortstop, and Zach should be playing for someone else. It is an unfortunate truth of baseball and sports in general, regarding discarding players. Zach is a first rate man; always spoke well, played hard, carried himself well. But the Reds have to move on.

      If Schebler and Peraza continue on the path they are one, then the Reds won the trade of Frazier. Frazier has been hitting HR’s, and fields well, but the rest of his offensive statistics are nothing to get excited about. The Reds would still have lost over 90 games with Todd playing third this year, and no closer to becoming a younger, better team.

  3. I still have my doubts about Peraza tied to his walk rate and general plate approach. However, in no way do I want to see him anywhere other than our starting SS next year. My hope is that Phillips is gone and Cozart is at best an expensive late inning defensive replacement infielder. Start Suarez, Peraza, Herrera across the infield and when Senzel is ready in 18 we move the weakest hitter of the three to a utility role or cash them for controlled talent.

  4. You said that he probably won’t maintain this level of production. So, no, I haven’t seen enough. Glad he’s doing well right now though. But waiting to see how severe the drop-off is in his production once the scouting reports catch up to him. You said yourself that we can’t get too excited over 200+ AN ‘s, so I’m not.

  5. I think he’ll be fine defensively. His metrics this year are out-of-whack from so much positional switching. You need about 3 years at a position before the metrics are “somewhat reasonable.”

    HItting .290/.320/.400 is what I see from him going forward, with above-average defense and base running… essentially, a 2.0 WAR player.

    • The good news is he has shown enough to think he isn’t a complete basket-case offensively like many feared. The key for him will be OBP and ironing out the timing of his steals and improving there. He gets to 340/350 OBP and more reliable base running and defense and he will be a gem.

  6. …..I really wish I could tell you I told you so about Perazza, but he sat so much time on the bench rotting, it’s hard to know for sure. The handling of our young players is inexcusable.

  7. Chad – have you noticed that he’s now got padding in both sides of his helmet?

    • That’s from getting hit in the head on a pickoff throw about a month ago!

  8. Yes, his average will undoubtedly slide, probably to the .280 – .300 range. But a little more patience and a little more development of his pitch selection skills and his OBP could easily go up in total, and if so he’ll be an asset at the plate. Get him in the Votto home room at batting cage class (and out of Mr. Phillips’ classroom) and he will learn. And like BHam, he needs to mature on the base paths and utilize his speed more efficiently. But the great advantage of being 22 is that he can learn and improve. If so, he’s the SS for the Reds for the next six or eight years. Add in Schebler and in hindsight the Frazier trade looks good.

  9. I like Peraza a lot!! Was is it the Cards that decided to play him extremely shallow a few weeks ago because all of the hits he dumps in front of the outfielders. He hit a ball to right-center that would normally be a single and it went between them for a triple! He never seems to be overmatched and seems like the kind of pesky hitter that can foul off a lot of pitches. I’m a lot more worried about the sustainability of Duvall and Suarez then I am Peraza at this point.

  10. There isn’t much to not like about Peraza. I see what the Reds scouts were so enamored with. In the trade for Frazier though, Schebler should have been the third player and not the second player. The second player should have been a prospect between Peraza and Schebler. However, 2B Brandon Dixon may make me eat those words. I’ll be curious to see how he does in the AFL this fall. He’ll probably move up to AAA for next year, but there is Dilson Herrera and Seth Mejias-Brean already there. Dixon could make this whole Who Replaces BP argument very interesting with a good AFL showing.

  11. Sigh – It’s great to be wrong about Peraza. I hated the trade. But imagine who the Reds could have acquired if they traded both Frazier and Chappy before the 2015 trading deadline.

    That’s what still makes me fume.

  12. I like Peraza a lot. He needs to become more selective at the plate but he sure looks like he can hit. The Reds must find a position for him in 2017. Like many others I suggest shortstop. The Frazier trade for Peraza and Schebler looks great at the moment. As a matter of fact the Leake trade for Duvall and Mella looks very good also. Now, if Cueto for Finnegan, Reed, Lamb works out and Rookie Davis turns out to be something from the Chapman trade Walt Jocketty will have had a very nice swan song.

  13. I watched Suarez come in at SS last year and set the league o its ear for about half a season I knew then it couldn’t last. The same with Peraza, I don’t think Suarez is a 230 hitter either when he approaches the AB like he is a middle infielder he will be a .265 hitter with some pop he is not the power hitter he has tried to be this year. I don’t see much chance of Peraza having any pop in his bat but at 22 his entire game has a good chance of getting better. He is not a .330 hitter but if he hits .285 and learns to walk some and becomes a better defensive player I will take that.

  14. Peraza better be in the starting lineup at one of the middle infield spots – preferably BP’s. Love ya, dat bad dude, but Father Time is still undefeated.
    And, I’d love to see Irribaren as our utility player next year. That guy has a great attitude, can hit, and can play all over the diamond.

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