Yankees manager highlights Oswald Peraza’s ‘special’ defensive skill

Yankees shortstop Oswald Peraza making a defense against the Blue Jays on Sept. 26, 2023, at Toronto.
John Allen
Wednesday September 27, 2023

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On Tuesday, the Yankees rested shortstop Anthony Volpe and put Oswald Peraza in his place. The 23-year-old talent didn’t disappoint. His performance at Rogers Centre Stadium left spectators in awe and won the admiration of his manager.

“He made that play like he was bored,” Bryan Hoch quoted Aaron Boone saying about Oswald Peraza. “That’s a special play. That’s what he is defensively. We’ve seen it at third and second and we’ve seen it all over now. He hasn’t played a lot up here this year in short, but he’s he’s got a special skill set defensively.”

Since his debut in 2022, Peraza has been among the most highly anticipated prospects within the organization. He has been a standout member of the youthful core of talent in the Yankees‘ lineup.

Oswald Peraza’s defense

Recognized as a versatile member of the New York Yankees’ young corps, Oswald Peraza continues to showcase his potential as a key contributor to the team during the current Major League regular season. He has been making significant contributions both defensively and offensively.

Oswald Peraza is exhibiting qualities that hint at a future Gold Glove infielder while steadily enhancing his offensive capabilities.

On the defensive front, Oswald Peraza has logged an impressive 279 innings this season, maintaining a commendable .963 fielding percentage. His defensive metrics, while already solid, hold the potential for further improvement with increased playing time. Serving as a competent stand-in for Donaldson, Peraza’s ongoing development could fortify the Yankees’ defensive lineup, particularly in the demanding third baseman position.

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.

Oswald Peraza possesses the skill set needed to anchor the Yankees’ infield. What’s required is trust from the coaching staff and ample opportunities for him to substantiate his potential. The manager’s praise serves as a compelling illustration of his strong potential to secure a lasting spot on the future roster, affording Oswald Peraza numerous opportunities to further cultivate his skills in the highest echelons of professional baseball.

Gaining offensive ground

Oswald Peraza delivered an impressive performance during Monday’s game against the Diamondbacks, leaving his mark with a home run and two RBIs. This noteworthy performance comes at a crucial juncture for him, who has grappled with a subpar batting average throughout the season. His strong showing in this game has the potential to boost his confidence and spark an upswing in his offensive contributions down the road. Nevertheless, it’s essential to recognize that Oswald Peraza’s overall season statistics still leave room for improvement, as he currently maintains a .201 batting average along with a relatively high strikeout rate.

Oswald Peraza runs after hitting a home run in Yankees vs. Red Sox game on Sept 14, 2023, at Fenway Park.

After parting with Josh Donaldson, particularly due to his offensive struggles, the option of promoting promising prospects to the MLB roster becomes a significant consideration. Yankees’ General Manager, Brian Cashman, might explore the free agent market in search of an established third baseman. However, the spotlight also shines on 23-year-old Oswald Peraza as a cost-effective alternative.

In his 47-game tenure with the Yankees this season, he has posted a .201 batting average, and a .281 OBP, along with two home runs and 14 RBIs, resulting in a 62 wRC+. Impressively, his recent surge in performance, particularly in September, has seen him achieve a .274 batting average and a .303 OBP, signaling a positive trajectory.

With 73 at-bats this month, Oswald Peraza’s batting prowess is on the rise, suggesting that he could emerge as a cornerstone for the Yankees in the upcoming season. Despite limited exposure to MLB action, he has shown promising flashes of his capabilities.

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