Over the last calendar year, representing 580 plate appearances, Reds shortstop Jose Peraza has hit .287/.339/.366 with 151 hits, 18 doubles and 3 triples, 72 runs scored and 46 RBI. He has stolen 25 bases (and was caught stealing 5 times).

Peraza is never going to be Barry Larkin at the plate (and he may never be an above-average hitter at all). He has shown very little power, and his walk rate (6.4%) is still below average. His strikeout rate (11.0%), however, is roughly half the league average for 2018. His OBP is well above the league-wide average OBP of .318.

Peraza’s wRC+ over that span is 90, which means he has been a below-average hitter. In 2018 alone, his wRC+ is 97. The National League average wRC+ for a shortstop thus far in 2018 is 89.

Jose Peraza just celebrated his 24th birthday.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 36 Comments

  1. Is this article in response to some or all of the negative comments about Peraza from the game recap?

    How are we supposed to feel about him? He’s a below average hitter overall but above average for a shortstop. Seems kinda conflicting.

    Are you saying that over the last calendar year (580 pa’s) is enough of a sample size that we can start believing he’s as good as his numbers this year suggest?

    • I thought the point was he has been slightly below average overall, but he has hit better than average for a SS. Typically the corner positions create the most offense, so a 1B wilth a league average wRC+ would be below average if only compared to 1B

    • This had nothing to do with any comments. I just know that Peraza had been improved in the second half of last season, so I wanted to see what he had done over the last year. When I saw what those numbers looked like, I thought they’d be interesting enough to post.

      Make your own judgments about sample size. I just wanted to se what he had done in (roughly) a full season of at-bats.

      • Good deal. Thanks for the info and work that went into it. I had been curious. He is looking like a legit SS and not just a 2B filling in at SS. Hope he keeps it up in the second half. Thanks.

  2. I can live with league average until someone better comes along. Especially for a guy making league minimum.

    • Remember, as you noted above, a league-average hitter at short is ABOVE average for his position. According to FanGraphs, Peraza is on pace to be worth about 3 WAR this year. An average player is worth 2 WAR.

      • Peraza is 6th of 13 qualifying SS for WAR in NL and 16th of 26 qualifying SS for WAR in MLB. That puts him as an average or just below average SS. Of course that includes his April and May performance. If Peraza continues with anything resembling his June and July performance, he will quickly climb the SS ladder.

        • The average major leaguer is 2 WAR. Peraza is going to be better than that. It may be that – this year – there are a lot of above average shortstops. That doesn’t make him not above average.

  3. I will gladly take a 24 year old with years of control who hits better than the average SS. The Reds can’t have all stars at every position. We need to avoid areas of huge weakness and spend as little as possible on as many positions as possible (so that we can take the savings and funnel it into an area like SP where there are not many cheap options).

    Said another way, the marginal improvement to our “win total” of upgrading from Peraza to someone like Brandon Crawford (and his ~$17m per year) is likely a drop in the bucket vs spending $17m on a starting pitcher and seeing what happens to our win total.

    If he hits like this for another year, I would consider locking him down on an affordable deal. He is showing growth. At 24 years old and the improvement trajectory we have seen, his upside could be significantly higher than what we are giving him credit for.

  4. Let’s give a couple of considerations to the trade of Todd Frazier for
    Scott Schebler
    Jose Peraza
    Brandon Dixon

    Frazier presently is on the DL with the Mets. Since he was traded, his statistics are actually pretty lousy. Sure, everybody liked Todd, but he has declined quite a bit as a player.

    Schebler hit over 30 hr’s last year. This year, he is batting .278 after being hurt most of the first month.
    Peraza is the starting SS for the Reds, and batting 0.280-something. Blake Trahan (high draft SS) has been a bust. Calten Daal has been injured and may never make it to the majors. The Reds had no one else ready.
    Brandon Dixon is knocking at the door at AAA. He did get a call up earlier this year, and did alright. I think he would be a good ML hitter if he was given the chance to play.

    This trade was a win. Peraza is NOT the reason the Reds have had a losing record that last few years. It’s their starting pitching.

    But c’mon. Let’s knock the guy some more, because it’s easy pickins’.

    • I saw a lot of criticism for Peraza during the 1st 2 months of the season and deservedly so, but not so much during the last 2 months and certainly not during the last month. During the last 2 months, Peraza has been doing what he was being criticized for not doing and the criticism disappeared.

      What I do see are comments regarding the next 2 months and seeing where Peraza finishes the season. If Peraza can provide average value as a SS, there is a place for him in the starting lineup until a better option materializes, but there would be no reason to seek such a replacement via a trade.

      • I agree with that thought. Over the first two months of the year I criticized Peraza probably as much as anyone but if he continues on this pace then I see no need to trade for a SS. There is still a lot of weak contact but I see a lot more line drives now than before. Living in Virginia I can only watch on TV and I think it is a lot harder most of the time to tell about exit velocity off the bat but it does appear he is hitting the ball harder and still getting his fair share of bloop hits. I still don’t think he will be an above average defensive shortstop but as of right now one black hole in the lineup seems to have filled itself. Even Billy has hit better however I sill think he has a lot of weak contact, perhaps the law of averages is catching up.

  5. I am happy with Peraza at short. he is a very hard worker and also is very durable and versatile. his defense has improved and base running has improved. I think his walks and on base percentage will improve as well.
    he is becoming a pretty good clutch hitter as well. he is no Barry Larkin but could be more like Concepcion.

  6. Peraza is playing better! He’s looking at more pitches and improving, but lets not forget something else. If Semien from Oakland or Addison Russell played half their games in GABP then they’d probably hit 18-20 HRs/year. He’s playing well though and he may develop a little more power? Its the starting pitcher….same as always! Mikolas wasn’t great yesterday, but he throws so many breaking pitches! That’s the Japanese baseball influence. The Reds need more of that…to set up the fastball better.

    • Check out the ballpark adjustments for 2018. You might be surprised to see where GBAP falls in the difficulty rating. GBAP sits at #11 and Wriggley at #9. I’ll give you Oakland (#29).

    • Didn’t realize Wrigley was a huge park. Lol

  7. Before the start of the season I posted (under my then moniker of SHOWOPS) something to the effect that I would tell Peraza he was the starting SS and not to look over his shoulder, giving him half the season to show what he could do without worrying about that, akin to the approach that worked well for Schebler when he was struggling after a call-up from Louisville.

    You’re welcome.

    Aside from that tongue-in-cheek comment, adding to the great notes above on being only 24 years old and having been an above-average performer at SS, he is recognized for being a hard-worker dedicated to getting better. The Reds are in much better shape than thought before the season started.

    • https://redlegnation.com/2017/11/07/dro-what-do-you-expect-from-jose-perazas-career-with-the-reds/#comment-637162

      This is my comment about Peraza last November. I think what I wrote at the end is pretty accurate:

      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.

      I could see the improvement in the second half of last season and I’m sure a lot of people on here remember me complaining non-stop about why Price wasn’t letting Peraza play. I’m glad he’s finally shown signs of turning into the hitter I thought he could be, but at the same time, I still think the Reds best path forward is to try Suarez at SS to open up 3B for Senzel while keeping Scooter at 2nd. I’ve begun to wonder if Peraza can make the shift to CF like what Billy Hamilton did many moons ago. If the Reds can find a way to subtract Hamilton’s bat from this lineup while adding Senzel, this team would be nigh unstoppable offensively.

      But back to Peraza. He has proven he belongs. I still have hope he can develop 15-20 HR power (he’s on pace to hit about 10 this season), then he could develop into something like Brandon Phillips but with a higher OBP. I think Peraza is just getting started and he has a ceiling as a wRC+ 110 player, which would be phenomenal for his position.

  8. I like Peraza at SS and I love him at SS with a manager and GM who would transition him to super sub role (he’d be a great Zobrist type) if/when the time comes.

    Happy for him and the front office — many many pundits have criticized his being the focus of efforts by the Reds to acquire him.

    • What? How in the world do you conclude that Peraza could be a Zobrist type? Zobrist has always been able to hit, and has never been what one would call a soft hitter.

      • I acknowledge a clarification is warranted. My definition of a Zobrist type is as follows:

        Zobrist type: noun. Any MLB caliber position player who has positional flexibility, to include IF and OF spots, who can provide value to his team at more than one spot, above replacement level.

        Note my definition doesn’t require offensive value, just value in general.

        • But I don’t think Peraza can provide above replacement level value to a team at multiple spots. To be above replacement level, Peraza has to play SS.

          I am happy with Perza at SS for the foreseeable future.

          • 2017 Peraza i completely agree. However let’s watch him develop. He’s not done and his ISO may start to inch up.

            As for value at other positions, it certainly won’t be due to fielding or baserunning. Peraza is a ball player who could, like Duval for example, learn and even excel at a new position defensively with the aforementioned transition.

            Should he be a league average hitter for approximately the next 7 years, I find he could generate enough defensively at more than 1 position to make him a flexible commodity on a winning baseball team, should said baseball team have an Alex Rodriguez phenom in AAA, Suarez at 3B and senzel at 2B.

      • Zobrist was 28 years old when he got a full season in. Peraza could easily replicate his numbers if he keeps improving. If not surpass them.

  9. To my eye test, his growing confidence is noticeable – especially when down in the count – which gives me hope that he will continue to improve as he matures. Riggleman mentioned his walk rate as something he needs to continue to work on. Nothing new, but it was good to hear from Reds manager. #cloggingbasesworks

  10. I have more confidence changing a player who makes good contact on pitches outside the strike zone then I do with a player who takes wild swings at balls outside of the zone. Wild swings and misses appear to come from getting fooled. For Peraza, it doesn’t seem that he is as much fooled by pitches but is just being over aggressive.

  11. Not bad for the 24 year old, which means he can be better than this…hopefully.

  12. The numbers say he has improved and anything above league average OBP is a really good thing for this offense or any offense.He should have been given this year to see what he could do and I fully expect he will be the starting guy at short next year.We will see where he ends up and I expect it to be good.I am in a wait and see place with all young players especially pitchers and Peraza in 2019 will be entering his 3rd full year in the big leagues at 25 years of age.

  13. Simple comments and questions: 1 – He’s likely to improve, if only slightly, perhaps more than that. If not, is there still a role for him? 2 – if he’s the worst offensive player in the lineup, they’re close to the playoffs, and certainly a wild card contender. What need they do to make this so?

    • Offensively, they’re good enough to make the playoffs now. Pitching. That’s what stands in the way, and the pitching, relying on a number of young guys, has every possibility of improving.

  14. I agree with jreis that a better comp would be with Concepcion. Compare Davey’s numbers at that age and younger. That said, he does need to look over his shoulder because the Reds have a fine problem with six or seven people who can play second who are very good prospects. There will have to be spillover onto SS and the outfield, but there are very good outfield prospects in the wings also. It will be interesting to see how it pans out in 2019 and 2020.

    • Peraza is improving, to my eye, defensively, and may improve some more, but he has a way to go before he’s a comp for Davey.

  15. I like the way Peraza doesn’t strike out a lot and he protects the plate with two strikes. His eye has improved with a few more walks although I think he remains basically a free-swinging hitter. Peraza has youth on his side and I hope he continues to improve.

  16. He had a solid 2nd half of 2016. I don’t know what happened in 2017. Perhaps youth and confidence issues . His defense seems solid. See if he can maintain a soild 2nd half. Hard to imagine a scenario where he is not the Opening Day SS in 2019.

  17. I have championed Peraza on this site since his arrival. It took you guys long enough to get on board !!!!

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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