Boone, Judge bullish on big-piece Oswald Peraza

Oswald Peraza is with Yankees captain Aaron Judge and celebrates after hitting a home run in Yankees vs. Red Sox game on Sept 14, 2023, at Fenway Park.

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While Oswald Peraza circled the bases on Thursday night, the 23-year-old enthusiastically pumped his fist, did a little skip, and then pointed skyward when he reached second base.

Throughout his journey to third base and as he crossed home plate, the infielder’s emotions were still evident. Oswald Peraza’s two-run homer, his first of the season, provided the Yankees with some relief in their 8-5 victory over the Red Sox. It marked the conclusion of a productive doubleheader for Oswald Peraza, who went 4-for-9 and also doubled in Game 2.

Oswald Peraza described the home run as an incredible moment for him. His home run came after the ball traveled a distance of 403 feet at Fenway Park.

Yankees manager happy to see Oswald Peraza hitting HRs

Aaron Boone expressed his satisfaction, mentioning that it was good to see the player get into a ball after the game.

The manager noted that Oswald Peraza had been achieving some positive results recently but highlighted that tonight’s performance was much better. He emphasized the player’s capability to drive the ball with authority, citing his strength and bat speed.

“He’s been getting some results lately, but tonight was a lot better,” the manager said. “He’s capable of that. He’s capable of driving the ball, hitting the ball with authority on a line. He’s strong. He’s got bat speed.”

Oswald Peraza runs after hitting a home run in Yankees vs. Red Sox game on Sept 14, 2023, at Fenway Park.
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Boone pointed out that Oswald Peraza’s recent performance goes beyond his impressive power display on Thursday. Before the series opener in Pittsburgh on Friday, he had an impressive .375/.375/.575 slash line over his last 10 games and 40 plate appearances. During this stretch, the rookie recorded 15 hits, including five doubles and a home run, and drove in six runs.

A showcase of Oswald Peraza’s potential

Oswald Peraza’s recent success has also been an eye-opener for his more experienced teammates, showcasing his potential. His recent performance has provided a glimmer of hope in what has largely been a challenging season for him.

Aaron Judge expressed his belief that the player in question would play a significant role for the team in the future. He described him as a young and intelligent hitter with athleticism and versatility on the field. Judge emphasized the importance of boosting Oswald Peraza’s confidence providing him with opportunities at bat and acknowledged the impact of his recent performance.

“He’s gonna be a big piece for us down the road,” said Aaron Judge. “He’s a young, smart hitter, an athletic guy that can play all over the field. Getting him the confidence, getting him the at-bats and him showing up like this, it’s huge.”

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DJ LeMahieu commented on the player’s talent and versatility, highlighting his ability to contribute to various aspects of the game. LeMahieu expressed his satisfaction in witnessing Oswald Peraza’s consistent and positive performances.

Initially a shortstop, Oswald Peraza lost the competition for that position to Anthony Volpe during spring training. He spent most of the year in Triple-A, where he posted impressive statistics. However, before his standout performance in the last 10 games, Peraza had struggled in the MLB, hitting just .129/.253/.141 over 29 games spread across multiple big league call-ups this season.

The Yankees have now shifted their focus toward giving their young players more playing time. This change in strategy has begun to yield positive results for Oswald Peraza, who has primarily been stationed at third base. In this role, he has been making adjustments to his hitting mechanics, aiming to position himself better for successful at-bats, as stated by Boone.

Despite his limited 39 MLB appearances this season, Oswald Peraza’s statistics are on an upward trajectory, providing an enticing glimpse into his offensive capabilities. Although his season-long averages (.208 batting average, .288 on-base percentage, 63 wRC+) may not immediately catch the eye, his recent performances since his call-up have been nothing short of electrifying. In the month of September alone, Oswald Peraza boasts an impressive .341 batting average, a matching .341 on-base percentage, a robust .523 slugging percentage, and a stellar .864 OPS. Accumulating 15 hits, one home run, and six RBIs in just 44 at-bats, he is undoubtedly in excellent form.

Oswald Peraza acknowledged that he has experienced a series of games in the big leagues, emphasizing that success at this level relies on the ability to make necessary adjustments. He also noted that he was growing increasingly comfortable with these adjustments, leading to better overall at-bats.

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