Jose Peraza has had a good month. Over the past 28 days (24 games) Peraza is batting .337 with a .360 OBP and .823 OPS. If the season were only 24 games old, Peraza would be top 5 in the National League in batting average, top 30 in OBP, and have a higher OPS than Joey Votto. What’s remarkable is that the season is 27 games old. Those THREE games where Peraza batted 0-12 to start the season manipulate his split mentioned above to the tune of .299/.321/.733. Not awful by any means, but certainly not as good if we were to discredit the first 3 games of the season.
Sample size is everything. Although Peraza has had a good month, you can see just how small the sample size is by how much his numbers are affected by taking only 3 games out of the equation. That being said, I think the last 24 games have been important for Peraza. He’s hitting the ball consistent and for some power. You can tell he has confidence at the plate.
I’ll be honest; so far in his career Jose Peraza has been a little puzzling. He burst onto the scene in 2016 with solid numbers, regressed in 2017 over a full season, and has performed relatively well, much like his 2016 self, in 2018. You can see the stats by year below:
I think a lot of this is to be expected for a young player such as Peraza. Although it feels like he’s been around forever, you have to remember that he’s only 24 years old and has only had 1 full year starting at the major league level. So far in his career he’s shown that he’s capable, but inconsistent at times.
The one thing that does worry me about Peraza’s stat line and his overall approach at the plate is his walk rate. Among all qualified hitters in baseball this year Peraza is dead last in walks (2). In 2017 he was third last (20) and had the lowest walk rate in baseball at .017. That is alarming.
So, what does this all mean when we try to decipher who Jose Peraza is as a hitter? Well, I think his numbers speak for themselves. At this point in his career, Peraza is pretty effective when it comes to purely putting the bat on the ball. He is a competent hitter but lacks the ability to draw walks and get on base at a respectable clip. With a player like Peraza (and all players, honestly) showing the ability to get on base by walking is so important because when the bat goes cold (like it can for Peraza at times) the player still has value and can still reach base by their ability to work the strike zone and draw a walk. Jose Peraza at this point in his career is one dimensional. If he aint hitting, he aint getting on base.
The biggest question moving forward in my mind is if Jose Peraza can improve upon his approach at the plate and get on base at a higher percentage. Again, he’s only 24 years old and this is only his second full season starting, so I don’t think it’s completely out of the question. The largest concern right now for me is that there has been zero progress so far this year to convince me of that. His approach this year is exactly the same as it was last year and his walk rate is comparable.
So, what if Jose Peraza is who he is and he can’t improve upon his walk rate and OBP? Are you happy with him as your starting shortstop? I think a lot of that is to be determined by his production the rest of this season. If his hitting can continue to elevate his OBP and make up for his lack of walks then I think he has a spot on this team, maybe just not in the number 2 spot in the lineup.
Jeff is Cincinnati born, Ohio University educated. Reds baseball has been a central theme of his family ever since his mom and dad helped him skip school to attend Opening Day. Jeff has been accused of having a “man crush” on Joey Votto and longs for the day that he gets to witness the Reds finally win a playoff series. You can follow him on Twitter @Gaaangs