This week’s respondents are Nick Carrington, Chad Dotson, Chris Garber, Bill Lack and Steve Mancuso.

Our Daily Reds Obsession: What do you expect from Jose Peraza’s career with the Reds?

Nick: I still think he has starting potential, but if you made me place my bets right now, I’m wagering Peraza is a solid, part-time player who never hits enough to warrant a full-time gig. I was concerned when they traded for him because of his poor walk rate and low power numbers. Guys like that rely so much on their batting average that a little bad luck can result in a dismal offensive output. If Peraza could become an 85-90 wRC+ guy who plays shortstop, then maybe he becomes a reliable starter. But right now, we don’t know if he can consistently play short, and he’s a long way from getting on base enough or hitting for power.

Chad: I expect Jose Peraza to be the next Zack Cozart. But not necessarily with the All-Star selection and the donkey. I guess I need to explain this one. Remember back in 2014, when Cozart was pretty much the worst-hitting regular in all of baseball? (Cozart hit .221/.268/.300 as a 28-year old.) Well, that season, thanks to his elite defense, Cozart was still worth two and a half wins, which isn’t great, but is enough to justify a starting spot.

I think Peraza has the tools to be an outstanding defensive player. Sure, some people disagree with that, but I see a 23-year old kid with good instincts, good speed, and good hands who has played four different defensive positions since debuting in the big leagues at age 21. If Peraza gets the chance to play shortstop on a regular basis beginning in 2017 — and that’s what I expect to happen, unless the Reds can pull off a trade for another young shortstop — I fully expect Peraza to develop into a really good defender at that position.

The question then becomes: Will he hit? If the gains he made in the second half — Peraza hit .268/.333/.305 after the 2017 All-Star break — are real (and if you want to be optimistic, there is a data point in your favor), then he can be an average offensive contributor with an above-average glove. There is real value in a player like that. Most likely, in my mind: Peraza will be just good enough to justify having him in the lineup (at the bottom of the lineup) while waiting for the Reds to acquire an upgrade. Of course, that’s exactly how I would have described Zack Cozart three years ago.

Chris: Peraza has walked 29 times in 799 major league plate appearances. He has 33 extra base hits. He’s not fast enough, or a good enough defender to survive that. Peraza’s game might have played in 1978, but could you imagine him stepping onto the field during the 2017 World Series? He doesn’t even play the same sport. The Reds may give Peraza first crack at the 2018 shortstop job, but my prediction is that he doesn’t start 100 more games in a Reds uniform.

Bill: He’s young, so I think the jury is still out on him, but the closing is ticking. If he’s the first half of ’17 – Peraza, he doesn’t help this team at all, if he’s the second half, he might. With his lack of power, he simply has to get on base to help the team. For the first time since coming to the Reds his BABIP was close to average, and that doesn’t bode well, as his performance dropped so much. His defense isn’t good enough (at 2B or SS) to make up for not getting base and combined with his lack of power, his offense is going to determine his playing time.

Steve: Jose Peraza’s career with the Reds will be as a utility infielder, at best. He hits for no power. He does not walk enough to put up a decent on-base percentage, even assuming he can develop an average hit skill. In short, Peraza is one of the least productive hitters in baseball. His defense can favorably be described as so-so at 2B and SS. The Dodgers and Braves moved Peraza off shortstop and scouting reports about his defense have been mixed. He may get some extended play at short this year if the Reds don’t address that problem through a trade. It’s hard for an organization to admit they made such a colossal misjudgment in a trade. But the sooner they move on from Peraza, the better. He’s young. I hope Jose Peraza proves me loud wrong.

23 Responses

  1. JB WV

    I’m in line with Chad’s thinking, more or less. The pressure of playing everyday with mounds of expectations on a young player took their toll on Peraza the first half of last year. He squared the ball up well in the second half of 2016 which led some of us to believe he’d hit the ground running in ’17. Obviously didn’t happen. Pitching adjustments bothered him, and it took more than half the year to look like the hitter we’d hoped for. But he improved. His non-existent walk rate became a statistic, and as he matures his power will improve. The potential is there to be a solid everyday ss. Great work ethic and plus speed will move him forward.

  2. scottya

    Peraza has not been even close to major league average over more than a season’s worth of play. Yes he is still developing, but it’s a mountain that Peraza needs to climb not a small hill.

    He will get the first half of 2018 to prove something and will be near zero war due to below average SS defensive skills and then will become an minimally effective utility player after that. I do believe he could become close to a 2 war second baseman, but we have much better options coming.

    The decisions that will come regarding Peraza will tell us a whole lot about the recently reorganized Front Office. If they hang on and hope for improvement and do not in a timely manner address the SS blackhole, then the future is less bright for the Reds Organization.

  3. kmartin

    Chad, you compare Jose Peraza to Zack Cozart and reference the horrible 2014 year Cozart had. However, in 2012 Cozart had 15 HRs and 33 2Bs. In 2013 he had 12 HRs and 30 doubles. Peraza has 18 career doubles in 799 PAs. I would argue Cozart showed much more potential than Peraza before his breakout 2017. Peraza just does not hit the ball hard.

  4. Sandman

    Nothing. Bench player. I don’t care nothing for this type of player. Steve said it best, I think, when he said that it’s hard for organizations to admit they made such a colossal misjudgment in a trade. And that’s why he’ll continue to get shots….organizational ego! I think Chad said that he thinks Peraza could be the next Cozart. I agree if we’re talking about a player who might take several years to finally break out offensively. Question is why are some people seemingly content with waiting several years for something that may never happen and if it does we’ll prolly only have him for 1 or 2 yrs bcuz he’ll be getting too old to keep. Freakin ego is why we’ll probably keep his sorry butt all in the hopes that he’ll be an ok player! Ridiculous!! And if he just happens to turn into a superstar after god knows how many years then every one of his supporters are prolly gonna be like, “SEE…WE TOLD YOU!”. I don’t wanna wait several yrs for Peraza to turn into just an ok player bcuz of ego! So sue me!!

  5. Sliotar


    There is a lot of “hot take”, harsh judgment here on Peraza and his (supposed lack of) MLB future.

    Peraza is 23, on a horrible team with:

    -a general manager seemingly just settling into his role
    -a manager that refused to play him consistently, and refused to keep him at one position (saw time at 2B/SS/CF)
    -batted up and down the lineup (remember the famous Hamilton/Peraza/Votto opening trio Price touted at the start of the season?)

    Tell me who is managing the Reds, and what position he will truly get a starting shot at in the next 2/3 years, and then a basis can be formed on what he could be.

    He reminds me a lot of Elvis Andrus, who will never be Jeter or Correa, but whom the Rangers had no problem investing 8 years/$120M in, despite never having been league average in RC+ at contract signing.

    (Andrus produced $32.5M of value this year, 4.1 WAR, in his age 29 season, per FanGraphs).

  6. Darrin

    This is the same kid that OPS’d 800 with 60 steals in AA just three years ago. He hit 297 with an OBP of 361 his last 47 games of this season. The eye test sucked but with some tweaks hopefully he can hit with some power, he’s got into a few balls that he absolutely crushed the last couple of years, so it’s there. Hopefully it was just a pressure issue this year, I feel he at least deserves to start for the first half of the season and evaluate where he is then. I don’t think Cozart was even a starter till his year 26 or 27 season so a comparison between their early offensive struggles is a little premature. There were a lot of sophomore slumps in the MLB last year, he played enough in 2016 for there to be tapes on him, pitchers adjusted and hopefully he can adjust……if not, let him hit the shower.

  7. KDJ

    My thoughts on Peraza actually have a lot to do with Hamilton. Specifically . . . the Reds cannot afford to have both of them in the lineup at the same time. With that consideration, I’ll take Billy because of the extraordinary defense and better base running abilities (e.g. score from first on a single and score from second on a past ball – incredible).
    So, I agree that Peraza is looking more like a utility man than a starter.

    • Scott Carter

      My thought exactly KDJ. If the Reds trade BH then playing Peraza at short and hoping his defense comes around is ok, at least for 2018, but he should hit in the 8 spot. The unfortunate thing is Price will have him (or Billy if he is here) at the top of the order to take “advantage” of their speed regardless of the fact that neither one has proven thy can get on base over 30% of the time.

  8. Abdul

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to answer this question. The Dodgers wouldn’t have let Peraza go if he was any good. I’m guessing the Dodgers saw the Red’s ill informed gullible management and a good opportunity to dump him on us. Let’s see, the Dodgers played in the 2017 World Series….So long suckers.

    • TR

      They played but the Dodgers lost to the Astros.

  9. ShowOPS

    My two cents: I’d commit to him for the first half of 2018 to see what he can do with more time with Don Long and Freddy Benevides and without having to look over his shoulder, similar to what was done with Schebler. The one exception for me to such a further extended look would be if an earlier move was required to place Senzel in the everyday Reds’ lineup. Still in the (at least) latter stages of sorting.

  10. bouwills

    Without Cozart he’s all the Reds have at shortstop, probably for the next 2-3 years. Currently, he’s a burden both offensively & defensively. He would be replaced in all but a few ML teams. Reds are one of the few. He got the job at 2nd last year because the Reds gave away Brandon Phillips. Scotter Gennett took that job away. He’ll get the ss job this year because the Reds have stepped away from Cozart (one of the better ss in the game). Expectations? Perhaps you mean aspirations.

    • bouwills

      I’d agree with you, except we’re talking “…career with the Reds”. One of the few internal moves that has worked out was moving Suarez from ss to 3rd & our current GM isn’t going to reverse that “Walt” decision. Eugenio might stay at 3rd, possibly may move to 2nd, or be traded when Senzel arrives. Returning to ss just isn’t in the cards, at least for the next year or so.

      • bouwills

        It’s just a misappropriation of talent in my opinion putting Suarez back at ss. 1st option: Leave Suarez at 3rd, try to sign him to 4 years at team-friendly terms & put Senzel at 2nd (in June) .2nd option: Move Eugenio to 2nd ,Senzel to 3rd. 3rd option: trade Suarez. In a fair deal, the players/prospects that the Reds receive will benefit the team more than Suarez at ss.

      • IndyRedMan

        You could live with Suarez at SS because that gets Scooter’s .930 OPS vs righties into the lineup over Peraza. If they keep Scooter in the lineup while adding Senzel & Winker and subtracting Peraza (+Billy?) then you’ve got a top 10 offense! They could probably carry Billy for defense at that point!

  11. cfd3000

    If the Reds don’t resign Cozart then I expect Peraza to start 2018 at SS. I hope he’ll mature in the field and at the plate. I expect he will do neither. I’ve seen nothing to suggest that Peraza is a (good) shortstop of the future. Unfortunately the FO has seen this coming and, to date, has done nothing to avoid a big hole in the field and in the lineup. RLN has been collectively advocating for a trade to acquire a capable young shortstop OR an extension or resigning of Cozart, but I see no indication that management is even aware of the looming problem. With the extra weight of expectations and no one to back him up well, I expect Peraza to be one of the worst every day players in the league in 2018. I hope I’m wrong, either because Peraza is a very pleasant surprise, or the FO surprises me.

  12. Ethan L

    A decent utility player. If he were to play a full season, maybe 1-1.5 (tops) fWAR.

  13. TR

    With Senzel coming to the Bigs sometime in 2018 and if Cozart is not signed by the Reds, I think Suarez should move to shortstop because he has played there before and seems like a durable type guy. I would leave Senzel, when he comes up, at third base because adjusting to the Bigs will take a while. That leaves Peraza in the competition for second base and/or as a super sub for many positions.

  14. bouwills

    I’m just not as down on Peraza as a lot of people on this site. He’s still only 23. He does have upside. The Reds did pretty good in that deal. The disappointment to me is in Hererra & that shoulder. Alex Blandino (1st round pick) has yet to wow many people also. Peraza should be playing behind Cozart 1 more year. If he hasn’t improved by 2019, then we can say the Reds have not much to show for those trades.

  15. Graychip

    Peraza is one of the players the reds should distance themselves from his ability to catch balls that are hard to catch are almost never and his batting is even worse!!!