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What Should Yankees Fans Expect from Oswald Peraza?

New York Yankees Oswald Peraza (5) during an Instructional League game against the Baltimore Orioles on September 23, 2017 at the Yankees Minor League Complex in Tampa, Florida. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images via AP)

It has happened. After clamoring for months, Yankees fans can finally rejoice. Oswald Peraza has been added to the Major League Roster ahead of the Yankees’ pivotal three-game set at Tropicana Field this weekend against Tampa Bay.

Originally signed out of Venezuela, Peraza spent six years in the Minor Leagues. He first started raising eyebrows in High-A ball in 2021, when he slashed .306/.386/.532 with five home runs in 127 plate appearances.

That was good enough to get him promoted to Double-A, where he slashed .294/.348/.466 with 12 home runs and a 122 wRC+ in 353 plate appearances. He then finished the 2021 season in Triple-A, slashing .286/.323/.393 with one home run and a 90 wRC+ in just 31 plate appearances.

Peraza started the 2022 season in Triple-A, and actually hasn’t been incredible on the whole. He has slashed .259/.329/.448 with 19 home runs and a 106 wRC+ in 429 plate appearances. He sports a pretty high 23.3% K% with a 7.9% BB%. For reference, Miguel Andujar hovered at around a 7% BB% in Triple-A.

But supporters of Peraza say that he made strides as a hitter in July and August. In those two months, he slashed .286/.358/.509 with ten home runs and 26 RBI in 180 Plate Appearances. He struck out 44 times (24.4 K%) and drew 15 walks (8.3 BB%). These numbers come out to a 129 wRC+ and a .379 wOBA. That’s pretty darn good.

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So Peraza definitely did improve, at least on the surface. From April to the end of June he wasn’t doing much, as he slashed just.240/.309/.404 with an 89 wRC+ and a .318 wOBA.

One thing does stand out, and it’s a shame that we don’t have great batted ball contact data for the Minor Leagues.

Peraza’s BABIP (batting average on balls in play) was .280 from April to the end of June. From July 1-September, it shot up to .336. Is it possible better contact is the explanation? Absolutely. But, at least with publicly available data, it’s hard to know for sure.

So What Can We Expect?

I’ve been hesitant on calling up Peraza. He has had two good months of baseball in Triple-A with a pretty high BABIP. And presumably his contact quality didn’t all of a sudden improve on a dime. I do think there’s something to be said for potentially stunting his growth, but I don’t think he’ll stink.

This promotion makes sense. Rosters are expanding, the playoffs are looming, and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa made a little league error Wednesday night that lost the Yankees a baseball game.

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The Yankees are fresh off one of the worst months in their franchise’s history at 10-18, and this team is playing tight and tense. Maybe an injection of youth can help loosen this team up. I am not expecting Oswald Peraza to come up and be a savior, that would be unfair.

But do I expect him to draw some ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ in the field as well as potentially contribute in some key spots at the plate. So if he comes up and gets some immediate confidence and goes on a magical tear to end the season, all the better. For now, it’s best to manage expectations and let him go through his growing pains.

 

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