Any Braves fan who pays attention to the farm system has heard the name Jose Peraza. Signed out of Venezuela as an international free agent in 2010 at the age of 16, Peraza has been impressing scouts across the league ever since his pro debut in 2011. Though there was a lot of hype regarding Peraza potentially making the big league club in Spring Training, the organization did not deem him ready. He only hit 1-for-16 during Spring Training. Peraza is coming off a 2014 campaign that saw him hit .339 with 60 steals across two levels. This was good enough to have him named Braves Minor League Player of the Year. He also made the Futures Game alongside Christian Bethancourt. The second baseman isn’t going to hit for power, but he does have an elite contact bat. The thought of Mallex Smith and Jose Peraza at the top of our lineup for years to come is scary if they continue to develop so well. Peraza only played 44 games in AA Mississippi, but the Braves did bump him up to AAA Gwinnett to begin the 2015 season. Though he got off to a slow start, Peraza currently owns a .296 average and has stolen 14 bases on 15 attempts. Atlanta has quite the predicament regarding Peraza. While he is one of our best prospects and is excelling at the highest level of the farm system, he is still just 21 years of age. The Braves do not want to start his service clock, and have Jace Peterson currently penciled in second base. Once Peraza is eventually called up, there is a good chance Jace will have to move to third base to see playing time. My suggestion is to be patient when it comes to Peraza. He could be a great option for a late-season callup, but when you have a top prospect there’s absolutely no reason to rush them. Peraza was ranked as MLB.com’s 38th best prospect this past offseason, and I have him neck-to-neck with Matt Wisler competing for the #1 spot on my Top 25 Braves Prospect List. When you consider how young Peraza is when examining his statistics, it proves just how talented this kid is. He’s got lightning fast speed and a great contact bat. He’s a converted shortstop, so he can great range for a second baseman. If I had to compare him to a Major Leaguer in the game today, it would likely be Dee Gordon. They play such similar games and have very similar minor league statistics. Difference is Peraza is putting up the same type of numbers at 21 that Gordon did at 25. Jose Peraza is going to be an All-Star for the Braves. I recommend every Braves fan try to catch a game in Gwinnett and see this talented young man play. Chances are we see him in a Braves uniform late in 2015, but the way he has flown through our farm system, there’s no telling when he will get here.
You can check out some highlights on Peraza here: