I have a piece up at Cincinnati Magazine about the development that has occurred with Jose Peraza this year. Here’s an excerpt:

But guess what? At this moment, Peraza is hitting .275/.322/.381. Is that great? No. He was an 89 wRC+, which means he’s about 11 percent worse than the average hitter. But his OBP is above average, and historically that 89 wRC+ is actually better than shortstops usually are relative to the league. And while he’s not Cozart with the glove, I’m also confident in calling him well above average at short. According to FanGraphs, he’s been slightly above average so far (1.2 WAR), and according to Baseball-Reference he’s been a bit more above average (1.4 WAR). 2 WAR is generally regarded as average for a full season, and we are, obviously, right in the middle.

He’s improved his numbers since I wrote the piece. I encourage you to read the whole thing.

21 Responses

  1. Jason Linden

    Maybe we should let India play a season or two in the minors before deciding he’s ready for the big time.

  2. roger garrett

    I think is was a given and still is that he had this year to prove he could or couldn’t and why not.He played at second most of the time the first year and a half and this will we his first full year at shortstop in the majors.His issues at the plate are what they are but from time to time he does show some pop and will walk.When they become the rule rather then the exception then you have something to work with but please lets not go into his third year hoping he turns the corner.Yeah I know Billy got 5 years and will probably get 6 but please lets stop that nonsense.

    • Jason Linden

      Peraza has been, essentially, a league average hitter this year. You don’t need to wait for him to turn the corner. Shortstops are, historically, typically 15-20% below league average across the board.

      Peraza is probably a 3 WAR player now. That’s above average. He’s good now. This is my point.

  3. Wizeman

    Peraza the shortstop on the next mediocre reds team
    Kool Aid

  4. Jason Linden

    Are you folks reading the article of just the headline and the excerpt?

    • David Rhodus

      My eye was drawn to the excerpt first because it’s bolded.

  5. Jason Linden

    Again, not all prospects pan out. Also, Peraza, at 24, is hitting as well as Suarez did at the same age.

  6. roger garrett

    I read the article and the data does speak for itself but I just disagree that after less then 100 games in year 3 its enough to anoint him as the short stop of the future.I hope your right because I do like his pop and I expect him to get better but lets se where he is at the end of this year.

    • Jason Linden

      But you just anointed someone who is currently in rookie ball at an age when Peraza was getting a cup of coffee in the majors.

      • roger garrett

        You gut the wrong guy Jason.I haven’t anointed anybody in rookie ball or anywhere else.

      • Jason Linden

        Sorry about that. Got you mixed up with another commenter.

  7. Streamer88

    Good stuff and I happen to agree and have advocated patience with him from the start.

    I’ve alluded in the past to those early Jose Altuve years relative to Peraza. Now hes no Altuve, but he may peak at something like .315/.370/.400 — pretty sure he’ll be an Allstar with 2-3 years of that. Will be fun to watch.

  8. seanuc

    Good article. I’m not sold on Peraza at the plate (because of the lack of walks) or in the field (awkward/stiff around the bag). But you make a persuasive argument. His performance this year has exceeded my expectations, and he is so young; he may indeed become a consistent above average SS. He’s grown on me quite a bit…sometimes I think I was just spoiled with so many years of Concepcion, Larkin, and Cozart.

    • Jack

      Not sure how you can be spoiled by Cozart. He sucked every year except the last 2. The Angel’s are paying for last years juiced ball now for the next 3 years.

  9. Rich H

    I’m so glad you put this article out. I feel like so much time gets wasted on trying to play somebody out of position to replace a 24 year-old who has a good attitude and is a hard worker by all accounts, who ranks this year 11th, 14th, and 18th in BA, OBP, and OPS respectively across qualified MLB shortstops. And can play at least MLB average defense at shortstop. If somebody is breaking the door down in a few years, so be it, but why all the positional gymnastics for a cheap, young guy like that who is perfectly acceptable?

  10. Tom Mitsoff

    Interesting tone to this thread, mirroring much of what we read throughout Redleg Nation — the presumption that India and some others in the farm system are going to be major league starting players. Look at what has happened to Senzel — vertigo (which may or may not be completely remedied) and now a broken finger (which won’t affect his performance once it’s healed). We all hope India is an all-star-caliber player, but there is absolutely no guarantee of that.

    Just because someone somewhere puts the label of great prospect on a player is no guarantee whatsoever that the player is going to make it. It is part of this mindset that prompts some people to be so anxious to trade Scooter Gennett, who is on pace to be a 5-WAR player this year, because certainly Senzel, Shed Long, Dilson Herrera or someone who has little to no major league experience must be better than that. I understand the mindset of trading someone when their value is the highest, which Gennett’s certainly is now, but just be careful what you wish for.

    Regarding Peraza, he appears to be improving at the plate — certainly so in his ability to lay off pitches outside the strike zone. He had some not-so-stellar defensive moments Sunday vs. the Cubs. I sometimes wonder about his range, but nobody ever said he was Andrelton Simmons. According to my eye test, I agree with Jason that Peraza currently projects as a better-than-average shortstop.

    • RedWard

      Here, here. Nice take, Tom.

      If India becomes an MLB starting shortstop, great, but who knows. Peraza has shown improvement and maybe there’s more to come.

  11. Brandon Bowling

    I think Peraza has played awfully well this year. He looks good with the glove and he doesn’t strike out much. In my mind, if he is able to keep this up, he isn’t someone whom we need to look for a replacement. If he gets 3 WAR at shortstop, I’d rather the Reds go after a good starting pitcher, or an outfielder.

    I don’t understand if people think a 24 year old Peraza ought to be playing like Barry Larkin in his prime, or what. But lets not fix what isn’t broken, and if we wind up with too many great infielders in a year or two, then that will be a good problem to have.

  12. davy13

    No! The shortstop of the future is Manny Machado! If the Reds can’t or won’t sign him, then maybe.

  13. cupofcoffee1955

    Gosh, give Peraza a chance. I remember watching Didi early in his career & thought he was all glove & no hit. Now look at him. Regarding Senzel, he might turn out to be great but when I hear vertigo, I think of two words, Nick Esasky.
    The problem with the Reds is not the SS, it’s pitching.