As many of you remember from the dark days leading up to John Coppolella’s teardown, Atlanta’s farm system used to be paper-thin. At the top of that list: utility man Jose Peraza. The start of 2015 was when Peraza was at his apex in our system, and whew boy, avert your eyes.
2014-2015 Braves Top 10:
SS/OF Jose Peraza
SP Lucas Sims
C Christian Bethancourt
SP Jason Hursh
SS Ozzie Albies
OF Braxton Davidson
SP Tyrell Jenkins
SP David Hale
SP Sean Gilmartin
3B Kyle Kubitza
Littered with other names like JR Graham, Mauricio Cabrera, and Garrett Fulenchek, this list was uninspiring, to say the least (besides our young Curaçaoan king Ozzie). All of these guys have fallen flat on their faces (especially Davidson & Bethancourt), and Jose Peraza is no exception.
Peraza 2019: .239/.285/.346/.631, 6 HR, 33 RBI, 7 SB
Peraza Career: .273/.312/.374/.686, 28 HR, 154 RBI, 77 SB
Peraza was a part of the infamous Alex Wood-Hector Olivera trade with the Dodgers but was never given much of a shot in Los Angeles. He was traded to Cincy – in a separate deal from Wood – that saw Todd Frazier land with the White Sox. Peraza’s calling card is his defense and speed. With Atlanta saying goodbye to Charlie Culberson & Rafael Ortega, there is a spot for him on this team. The question is, SHOULD Atlanta bring him back?
The nostalgia would be satisfying for a lot of Braves fans who had high hopes for this kid. However, he did just get cut from one of the worst teams in the league. I think Peraza still has some untapped potential & the Reds gave up on him too quickly. He’s a year removed from hitting .280 and stealing 23 bases. Considering Atlanta non-tendered Charlie Culberson, they will be searching to fill their open bench spot with a player who can better man the infield, and Peraza fits that mold.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com talked the other day about how Culberson’s departure could make room for Adeiny Hechavarria to return. Bringing in Peraza would be a similar move, but he comes with a little more upside. The former Red has a little more pop in his bat, can steal bases, and is five years younger. He can also backup Dansby Swanson at shortstop, which has to be considered given all the injury problems Swanson has had early in his career.
For the right price, I think he’s a great compliment to the bench and Johan Camargo. His power leaves a lot to be desired, but he still has shown much more pop early in his career than Hechavarria. I’d be happy with him for the right price. His projected arbitration number for 2020 was $3.6 million before being non-tendered. I doubt he receives that much on the open market after a disappointing 2019.
(Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire)