This week’s respondents are Nick Carrington, Chad Dotson, Chris Garber, Bill Lack and Steve Mancuso.

Our Daily Reds Obsession: What do you expect from Jose Peraza’s career with the Reds?

Nick: I still think he has starting potential, but if you made me place my bets right now, I’m wagering Peraza is a solid, part-time player who never hits enough to warrant a full-time gig. I was concerned when they traded for him because of his poor walk rate and low power numbers. Guys like that rely so much on their batting average that a little bad luck can result in a dismal offensive output. If Peraza could become an 85-90 wRC+ guy who plays shortstop, then maybe he becomes a reliable starter. But right now, we don’t know if he can consistently play short, and he’s a long way from getting on base enough or hitting for power.

Chad: I expect Jose Peraza to be the next Zack Cozart. But not necessarily with the All-Star selection and the donkey. I guess I need to explain this one. Remember back in 2014, when Cozart was pretty much the worst-hitting regular in all of baseball? (Cozart hit .221/.268/.300 as a 28-year old.) Well, that season, thanks to his elite defense, Cozart was still worth two and a half wins, which isn’t great, but is enough to justify a starting spot.

I think Peraza has the tools to be an outstanding defensive player. Sure, some people disagree with that, but I see a 23-year old kid with good instincts, good speed, and good hands who has played four different defensive positions since debuting in the big leagues at age 21. If Peraza gets the chance to play shortstop on a regular basis beginning in 2017 — and that’s what I expect to happen, unless the Reds can pull off a trade for another young shortstop — I fully expect Peraza to develop into a really good defender at that position.

The question then becomes: Will he hit? If the gains he made in the second half — Peraza hit .268/.333/.305 after the 2017 All-Star break — are real (and if you want to be optimistic, there is a data point in your favor), then he can be an average offensive contributor with an above-average glove. There is real value in a player like that. Most likely, in my mind: Peraza will be just good enough to justify having him in the lineup (at the bottom of the lineup) while waiting for the Reds to acquire an upgrade. Of course, that’s exactly how I would have described Zack Cozart three years ago.

Chris: Peraza has walked 29 times in 799 major league plate appearances. He has 33 extra base hits. He’s not fast enough, or a good enough defender to survive that. Peraza’s game might have played in 1978, but could you imagine him stepping onto the field during the 2017 World Series? He doesn’t even play the same sport. The Reds may give Peraza first crack at the 2018 shortstop job, but my prediction is that he doesn’t start 100 more games in a Reds uniform.

Bill: He’s young, so I think the jury is still out on him, but the closing is ticking. If he’s the first half of ’17 – Peraza, he doesn’t help this team at all, if he’s the second half, he might. With his lack of power, he simply has to get on base to help the team. For the first time since coming to the Reds his BABIP was close to average, and that doesn’t bode well, as his performance dropped so much. His defense isn’t good enough (at 2B or SS) to make up for not getting base and combined with his lack of power, his offense is going to determine his playing time.

Steve: Jose Peraza’s career with the Reds will be as a utility infielder, at best. He hits for no power. He does not walk enough to put up a decent on-base percentage, even assuming he can develop an average hit skill. In short, Peraza is one of the least productive hitters in baseball. His defense can favorably be described as so-so at 2B and SS. The Dodgers and Braves moved Peraza off shortstop and scouting reports about his defense have been mixed. He may get some extended play at short this year if the Reds don’t address that problem through a trade. It’s hard for an organization to admit they made such a colossal misjudgment in a trade. But the sooner they move on from Peraza, the better. He’s young. I hope Jose Peraza proves me loud wrong.

About The Author

Steve grew up in Cincinnati a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce's 2010 homer and Homer Bailey's 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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50 Responses

  1. Colorado Red

    This will be one of Walt’s worst trades. (not including Chapman, as I think he was told to get rid of him now).
    At best a utility player. No trade value. A bust.

    • lwblogger2

      What’s funny is that in the original Chapman trade, it was rumored that Peraza was the headliner in that one too. I was so livid when the Reds traded Frazier for what was rumored to be the same package as the Chapman deal that feel through. The saving grace is that Schebler was part of that deal and he’s been a solid if unspectacular player so far. If he stays the course or breaks out then the trade can be considered a win. This even with Peraza being the headliner. Not at all sure what the Reds saw/see in him really.

  2. JB WV

    I’m in line with Chad’s thinking, more or less. The pressure of playing everyday with mounds of expectations on a young player took their toll on Peraza the first half of last year. He squared the ball up well in the second half of 2016 which led some of us to believe he’d hit the ground running in ’17. Obviously didn’t happen. Pitching adjustments bothered him, and it took more than half the year to look like the hitter we’d hoped for. But he improved. His non-existent walk rate became a statistic, and as he matures his power will improve. The potential is there to be a solid everyday ss. Great work ethic and plus speed will move him forward.

  3. Shchi Cossack

    The Reds cast their net and reeled in one option as a succession plan at SS…Peraza. They whiffed…badly. The Braves recognized his limitations despite his accolades as a prospect. The Dodgers recognized his limitations and jumped at the chance to dump him. The Reds will subbornly hang on and try to fit that square peg in the round hole…again (see Stubbs, Hamilton, et al).

    Peraza could function as an inexpensive option as a super utility player on the 25-man roster, but he is not a starting caliber player, defensively or offensively.

  4. Old-school

    I need one more year.
    I’m not impressed by his defense….but Freddy Benavides did wonders for Suarez so I would give him a spring training and a season to see what Benavides can do with him.

    His hitting struggles are well chronicled….but I can’t forget a game at gabp against the dodgers 2016…..he crushed a home run to left center and hit an opposite field rocket to RF for a double….he looked smooth at SS that day. He also hit a towering long home run in San Diego and improved his approach in a small sample size last year.
    I think he is a solid utility player…but unless cozart is signed at 2 years and a bargain..I see what he does in 2018. Plan A at shortstop is a trade of course… but not sure that needs to happen yet.

  5. scottya

    Peraza has not been even close to major league average over more than a season’s worth of play. Yes he is still developing, but it’s a mountain that Peraza needs to climb not a small hill.

    He will get the first half of 2018 to prove something and will be near zero war due to below average SS defensive skills and then will become an minimally effective utility player after that. I do believe he could become close to a 2 war second baseman, but we have much better options coming.

    The decisions that will come regarding Peraza will tell us a whole lot about the recently reorganized Front Office. If they hang on and hope for improvement and do not in a timely manner address the SS blackhole, then the future is less bright for the Reds Organization.

  6. kmartin

    Chad, you compare Jose Peraza to Zack Cozart and reference the horrible 2014 year Cozart had. However, in 2012 Cozart had 15 HRs and 33 2Bs. In 2013 he had 12 HRs and 30 doubles. Peraza has 18 career doubles in 799 PAs. I would argue Cozart showed much more potential than Peraza before his breakout 2017. Peraza just does not hit the ball hard.

    • Old-school

      I hear all the criticisms regarding Peraza and they are valid. But Cozart was in AA Carolina at 23… Peraza made his MLB debut at 21. He has been shuffled around in every sense for 2 years with no organizational stability or position stability or playing time stability….that has to wear on young player.

      • Dewey Roberts

        That is because Zack Cozart played 4 years at my beloved Ole Miss before going pro.

      • old-school

        Solid 3rd round pick by the Reds and an elite defender. Took forever to hit, but also given stability by the organization- playing time stability and position stability, and trajectory stability. Not necessarily defending Peraza- the Reds gave him his shot at 2B this year, but its a whole lot easier when you know what team, what level, what position, and what batting order you are playing in year after year at age 21/22/23/24

    • greenmtred

      I don’t feel much optimism, but Peraza, on rare occasions, does hit the ball hard, so it seems that he’s capable of it. My recollection is that most of us had given up on Cozart as a productive hitter. I take him as proof that players can learn, change their approaches and improve. What’s past is not always prologue.

  7. Klugo

    I expect a good offensive player. Marginal defensive player. A stop plug until Senzel arrives. Then a decent bench guy.

  8. Sandman

    Nothing. Bench player. I don’t care nothing for this type of player. Steve said it best, I think, when he said that it’s hard for organizations to admit they made such a colossal misjudgment in a trade. And that’s why he’ll continue to get shots….organizational ego! I think Chad said that he thinks Peraza could be the next Cozart. I agree if we’re talking about a player who might take several years to finally break out offensively. Question is why are some people seemingly content with waiting several years for something that may never happen and if it does we’ll prolly only have him for 1 or 2 yrs bcuz he’ll be getting too old to keep. Freakin ego is why we’ll probably keep his sorry butt all in the hopes that he’ll be an ok player! Ridiculous!! And if he just happens to turn into a superstar after god knows how many years then every one of his supporters are prolly gonna be like, “SEE…WE TOLD YOU!”. I don’t wanna wait several yrs for Peraza to turn into just an ok player bcuz of ego! So sue me!!

  9. Sliotar


    There is a lot of “hot take”, harsh judgment here on Peraza and his (supposed lack of) MLB future.

    Peraza is 23, on a horrible team with:

    -a general manager seemingly just settling into his role
    -a manager that refused to play him consistently, and refused to keep him at one position (saw time at 2B/SS/CF)
    -batted up and down the lineup (remember the famous Hamilton/Peraza/Votto opening trio Price touted at the start of the season?)

    Tell me who is managing the Reds, and what position he will truly get a starting shot at in the next 2/3 years, and then a basis can be formed on what he could be.

    He reminds me a lot of Elvis Andrus, who will never be Jeter or Correa, but whom the Rangers had no problem investing 8 years/$120M in, despite never having been league average in RC+ at contract signing.

    (Andrus produced $32.5M of value this year, 4.1 WAR, in his age 29 season, per FanGraphs).

    • Chris Miller

      I’m sorry, but the excuses you are leveling are absolutely ridiculous. Peraza’s play has NOTHING to do with a new general manager. The fact is, Price played Peraza every day at 2nd base, until a role player put up huge numbers, forcing Price to finally move Peraza to the bench after a few months into the season. Who cares where he batted in the lineup? What does that have to do with Peraza’s numbers being similar to his numbers in the minors? What that really says, is that Peraza can’t hit his weight no matter where he is “hidden” in the lineup. Also, people get too lost in the age factor. The reality is, he’s young, and has experience, much more so than many his age. That fact alone, means decisions have to be made on him sooner than with other guys like Cozart who come here after college. This kid is HORRIBLE, and no excuses will change that.

  10. Darrin

    This is the same kid that OPS’d 800 with 60 steals in AA just three years ago. He hit 297 with an OBP of 361 his last 47 games of this season. The eye test sucked but with some tweaks hopefully he can hit with some power, he’s got into a few balls that he absolutely crushed the last couple of years, so it’s there. Hopefully it was just a pressure issue this year, I feel he at least deserves to start for the first half of the season and evaluate where he is then. I don’t think Cozart was even a starter till his year 26 or 27 season so a comparison between their early offensive struggles is a little premature. There were a lot of sophomore slumps in the MLB last year, he played enough in 2016 for there to be tapes on him, pitchers adjusted and hopefully he can adjust……if not, let him hit the shower.

    • Chris Miller

      Don’t get caught up in the 2nd half stats. In reality, he had ONE very good month, which made his overall 2nd half stats look good. In reality, he was still terrible.

  11. CI3J

    I’m more bullish on Peraza than most. In the second half, my eye test told me he was starting to “get it”. In the first half of the season, he looked like a player without a plan, coming up to the plate flailing away at any pitch that was within a yard of the plate.

    That changed in the 2nd half. He was sitting back, he looked more patient, more calm at the plate. This is born out by his increased walk rate. There was one moment that really drove it home: Peraza was brought in as a pinch hitter in a game (forget which one) in the 9th inning, and I believe worked a full count. He was waiting for his pitch, and it came. He swiveled his hips and drove the ball all the way to the wall for a double. 1st half Peraza never would have done anything like that.

    Peraza is young, and by all accounts take well to advice and is a hard worker. I sincerely hope Price lets him play this season. I think he might surprise some people.

    • lwblogger2

      What you say about Peraza’s work ethic and coachability give me some hope. No, I don’t think he’s likely going to have success as an MLB player. He simply won’t hit enough, even if he manages to get his walk rate up some. He could be an average defender at multiple positions though. The kind of guy who can give you some starts almost anywhere on the diamond and not kill you there and when on the bench, can come in and be a pesky guy to get out.

  12. KDJ

    My thoughts on Peraza actually have a lot to do with Hamilton. Specifically . . . the Reds cannot afford to have both of them in the lineup at the same time. With that consideration, I’ll take Billy because of the extraordinary defense and better base running abilities (e.g. score from first on a single and score from second on a past ball – incredible).
    So, I agree that Peraza is looking more like a utility man than a starter.

    • Scott Carter

      My thought exactly KDJ. If the Reds trade BH then playing Peraza at short and hoping his defense comes around is ok, at least for 2018, but he should hit in the 8 spot. The unfortunate thing is Price will have him (or Billy if he is here) at the top of the order to take “advantage” of their speed regardless of the fact that neither one has proven thy can get on base over 30% of the time.

  13. JREIS

    I actually like Peraza. he has shown to be durable and he does make contact, albeit weak many times. I actually think he did a decent job in centerfield the couple times they put him out there so he is a guy that could play every position except catcher and pitcher. HE has good speed and is a player that could be a 40 sb/year guy if he played a full season. I Like him in the 7th position in between say Winker or Ervin and Barnhart

    I think we should let Cozart go and keep Peraza as our every day shortstop until Hunter Greene takes over the position in a few years.

    • Colorado Red

      If Hunter is taking over SS, he is a bust as a pitcher.
      He has more upside as an ACE.

      • JREIS

        why waste a great athlete as a pitcher. we are sorely lacking in the athletic department in the minor and majors

      • greenmtred

        You’re not wasting him if he is an excellent pitcher. And why do you say that Reds are lacking in athleticism? My impression is that there is plenty of physical talent.

  14. Abdul

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to answer this question. The Dodgers wouldn’t have let Peraza go if he was any good. I’m guessing the Dodgers saw the Red’s ill informed gullible management and a good opportunity to dump him on us. Let’s see, the Dodgers played in the 2017 World Series….So long suckers.

    • Patrick Jeter

      I majorly whiffed on Peraza this year.

      I thought there was no way he’d be under 1.0 WAR based on defense and base running alone. I didn’t realize he could wRC+ 62, though. I thought he’d be around 75-80 at the lowest.

      I think if he doesn’t change his swing mechanics, he’s doomed to be a utility player who puts up replacement-level value, IMO.

    • TR

      They played but the Dodgers lost to the Astros.

    • Tom Diesman

      So if the genius Dodgers know so much, they probably took in a haul for Peraza, Schebler, and Dixon when they dumped them on us huh? Feel free to lay out how well Johnson, Thompson, and Montas worked out for them. I seemed to have missed their contributions to the Dodgers World series run.

      • lwblogger2

        Actually, don’t we have Johnson now? Pretty funny how baseball works. In all fairness, I was one of the ones complaining that the Reds should have gotten the package the Dodgers got in the Frazier deal… Looking like I very well may have been wrong. Schebler making the deal look a lot better at the moment. Like all trades though, it’s still too early to evaluate.

  15. ShowOPS

    My two cents: I’d commit to him for the first half of 2018 to see what he can do with more time with Don Long and Freddy Benevides and without having to look over his shoulder, similar to what was done with Schebler. The one exception for me to such a further extended look would be if an earlier move was required to place Senzel in the everyday Reds’ lineup. Still in the (at least) latter stages of sorting.

  16. bouwills

    Without Cozart he’s all the Reds have at shortstop, probably for the next 2-3 years. Currently, he’s a burden both offensively & defensively. He would be replaced in all but a few ML teams. Reds are one of the few. He got the job at 2nd last year because the Reds gave away Brandon Phillips. Scotter Gennett took that job away. He’ll get the ss job this year because the Reds have stepped away from Cozart (one of the better ss in the game). Expectations? Perhaps you mean aspirations.

    • Tom Diesman

      Nope, Peraza is not the only option. Suarez can field SS as well as Peraza at SS and outhit him by a ton.

      • bouwills

        I’d agree with you, except we’re talking “…career with the Reds”. One of the few internal moves that has worked out was moving Suarez from ss to 3rd & our current GM isn’t going to reverse that “Walt” decision. Eugenio might stay at 3rd, possibly may move to 2nd, or be traded when Senzel arrives. Returning to ss just isn’t in the cards, at least for the next year or so.

      • Tom Diesman

        I don’t doubt at all that this organization will not move him back. It’s just sad that it’s not high on their list of ways to fix the team with their current personnel.

      • bouwills

        It’s just a misappropriation of talent in my opinion putting Suarez back at ss. 1st option: Leave Suarez at 3rd, try to sign him to 4 years at team-friendly terms & put Senzel at 2nd (in June) .2nd option: Move Eugenio to 2nd ,Senzel to 3rd. 3rd option: trade Suarez. In a fair deal, the players/prospects that the Reds receive will benefit the team more than Suarez at ss.

      • Tom Diesman

        We’ll just have to agree to disagree then since I believe it’s a big misappropriation of talent not to move the best SS currently on your 40 man roster (Suarez) back to SS from 3B. Especially when your best and closest prospect is a 3B (Senzel) and you also have a glut of 2B talent in place and very close to ready (Gennett/Herrera/Blandino/Long).

      • greenmtred

        We know that Suarez is an outstanding 3rd baseman and that he was not a good shortstop. That’s what we know about Suarez, though we may suspect that he could become a good shortstop. Senzel, based on what people here at RLN have said, is no more than adequate at 3rd. Why weaken yourself at two positions?

      • IndyRedMan

        You could live with Suarez at SS because that gets Scooter’s .930 OPS vs righties into the lineup over Peraza. If they keep Scooter in the lineup while adding Senzel & Winker and subtracting Peraza (+Billy?) then you’ve got a top 10 offense! They could probably carry Billy for defense at that point!

      • Tom Diesman

        Someone is going to have to illustrate to me how when taking into account the glove and bat that Suarez/Peraza/Senzel > Senzel/Suarez/(Gennett/Herrera/Blandino). I’m not seeing it.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m not convinced he can’t handle SS. His one season there was a disaster but he really struggled when he first moved to 3B and he got himself sorted out. I saw some flashes at SS that suggested he could probably be at least an average defender there. The thing is though, he is a very good defender at 3B now and I don’t think he’ll ever be a plus defender at SS. His bat plays up more at SS. I’d perhaps ask him what he thinks about moving back to SS but I’d give him right of refusal on such a move. I think he’s shown the org enough at 3B that if he wants to stick there, I wouldn’t force him to move. That’s how I’d handle it. If he was willing to try, I’d have him at SS much more than 3B during ST. I think it’s moot right now though. I don’t see Senzel coming up until at least mid-season and possible not until September. Of course I defer to you and Doug on MiLB. If you think he’ll be up earlier than that or that he should be, I’m not going to argue with you too much.

  17. cfd3000

    If the Reds don’t resign Cozart then I expect Peraza to start 2018 at SS. I hope he’ll mature in the field and at the plate. I expect he will do neither. I’ve seen nothing to suggest that Peraza is a (good) shortstop of the future. Unfortunately the FO has seen this coming and, to date, has done nothing to avoid a big hole in the field and in the lineup. RLN has been collectively advocating for a trade to acquire a capable young shortstop OR an extension or resigning of Cozart, but I see no indication that management is even aware of the looming problem. With the extra weight of expectations and no one to back him up well, I expect Peraza to be one of the worst every day players in the league in 2018. I hope I’m wrong, either because Peraza is a very pleasant surprise, or the FO surprises me.

  18. Ethan L

    A decent utility player. If he were to play a full season, maybe 1-1.5 (tops) fWAR.

  19. TR

    With Senzel coming to the Bigs sometime in 2018 and if Cozart is not signed by the Reds, I think Suarez should move to shortstop because he has played there before and seems like a durable type guy. I would leave Senzel, when he comes up, at third base because adjusting to the Bigs will take a while. That leaves Peraza in the competition for second base and/or as a super sub for many positions.

  20. doofus

    With the less than stellar comments about Peraza, I think it’s safe to say the Red’s have nothing to show for the trades of Frazier, Chapman and Bruce. Perhaps, Schebler will continue to show something; however, he is not close to being equivalent to the value of the aforementioned players.

    This is why WJ should not attend the upcoming GM or Winter meetings.

    • bouwills

      I’m just not as down on Peraza as a lot of people on this site. He’s still only 23. He does have upside. The Reds did pretty good in that deal. The disappointment to me is in Hererra & that shoulder. Alex Blandino (1st round pick) has yet to wow many people also. Peraza should be playing behind Cozart 1 more year. If he hasn’t improved by 2019, then we can say the Reds have not much to show for those trades.

      • lwblogger2

        Blandino looked like a ballplayer to me this year when I saw him in person. His stats were also better this year. I think Blandino got healthy and that he also is maturing. I think his floor is probably as a 2B/3B utility guy who can probably play the corner OF positions with some practice. His ceiling is as a solid MLB starting 2B. The plate discipline is what impresses me the most. I love his approach.

        As for Hererra, when the shoulder is functional, he can flat out hit. I mean hit, hit. The guy is a hitter. The big question with him, as you pointed out, is can he stay on the field with all the shoulder issues? They finally had a look in there surgically and apparently fixed some damage. Let’s hope he has a healthy 2018.

  21. Graychip

    Peraza is one of the players the reds should distance themselves from his ability to catch balls that are hard to catch are almost never and his batting is even worse!!!