- Full name José Francisco Peraza
- Born 04/30/1994 in Barinas, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- Debut 08/10/2015
Organization Prospect Rankings
After signing with the Braves out of Venezuela for $350,000 in 2010, Peraza quickly rose through the system, becoming the organization's top prospect after the 2014 season. Atlanta shipped him to the Dodgers in July 2015 as part of the threeteam deal that sent Hector Olivera to the Braves. Peraza made his big league debut in August but missed most of September with a strained left hamstring. He relies on two tools: hitting and speed. He has a short swing, quick hands and strong wrists, with the hand-eye coordination to put the barrel to the ball at a high rate. Peraza's double-plus speed makes him a threat to steal 30 bases. He's a line-drive hitter who can drive the ball to his pull side, but he probably won't hit many home runs. He swings at too many pitches, hurting his on-base percentage. The Braves shifted Peraza from shortstop to second base in 2014. He has above-average range and an average arm, but a funky throwing stroke. Peraza lacks a high ceiling, but his bat-to-ball skills and wheels should make him a steady player.
Signed out of Venezuela for $350,000 in 2010, Peraza has emerged as a top prospect over the past three seasons by displaying an incredible feel for the game. He made his U.S. debut in 2012 and ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League prior to spending the last five-plus weeks in the Appalachian League. He then stole 64 bases at low Class A Rome in 2013 before busting out as a prospect in 2014, when he stole 60 bases (to rank third in the minors) as he raced to Double-A Mississippi in the second half. Along the way, Peraza started for the World team in the Futures Game in Minneapolis, collecting a single in two at-bats. He helped guide Mississippi to a second-half record of 44-26. Peraza employs speed, quickness and intellect with tremendous instincts for the game, which led to a combined .339 average in 2014, ninth-best in the minors. A spray hitter with a good understanding of the strike zone, Peraza has the handeye coordination to hit all types of pitches but is patient enough to wait for those he can handle and winds up barreling the ball more often than not. He has quick wrists and strong hands that generate a compact swing. He's tinkered with moving his hands in his stance to give him more of a trigger, because he has below-average power. Peraza keeps the ball on the ground by rarely getting under pitches and uses his plus speed to get on base. He has been timed as fast as 3.9 seconds from home to first base, which is top-of-the-scale speed that makes him one of the fastest players in the minors. Once on base, he creates an instant distraction for pitchers and the defense. He reads pitchers well and has a great first step in stealing bases. He made a seamless move from shortstop to second base in 2014 while displaying steady, soft hands with above-average range and solid arm strength. He is not flashy in the field but makes all of the routine plays and was voted best defensive second baseman by high Class A Carolina League managers. Peraza's other weakness other than his modest pop is his unwillingness to walk, which may set him back as a future leadoff man. Some scouts questioned Atlanta's decision to shift Peraza off shortstop to the less-demanding job at second base. With Andrelton Simmons entrenched at shortstop, the Braves gave Peraza a chance to accelerate his timetable by moving him to second, and he seized the opportunity. The organization considered calling up Peraza in August when Simmons was sidelined with an injury, but Peraza was battling a mild groin strain at the time. The Braves traded second baseman Tommy La Stella to the Cubs in November, meaning the musical chairs at that position will end soon in Atlanta. In anticipation of filling the Braves' longstanding need at second, Peraza will compete with Phil Gosselin in big league camp this spring for the starting job and could wind up bypassing Triple-A Gwinnett with an impressive showing.
Signed out of Venezuela for $350,000 in 2010, Peraza made his U.S. debut two years later as the No. 10 prospect in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He impressed with his all-around improvements at low Class A Rome in 2013, when he was tabbed as the South Atlantic League's No. 16 prospect after hitting .288 and ranking second in the SAL with 64 steals. Peraza's game is centered on tremendous body control. He gets great jumps on the bases as well as in the field and has the ability to go from full speed to immediate standstill. His plus baseball instincts make his above-average range and plus speed even better. His hands are soft and consistent, and he has a quick release that makes up for average arm strength. At the plate, he has quick hands and outstanding hand-eye coordination that allows him to hit virtually any pitch, though he has little in the way of home-run power. He succeeded in 2013 as both a leadoff and No. 2 hitter with his ability to hit behind the runner and bunt. Peraza has exceeded the expectations of many scouts. While he needs to play a little more under control, his aggressiveness is an asset and makes him a pesky, dangerous player for opponents. He should be able to remain up the middle at either shortstop or second base. His next stop will be high Class A Lynchburg.
The Braves signed both Peraza (for $350,000) and Mauricio Cabrera at the start of the international signing period in 2010. The organization's Rookie-level Dominican Summer League player of the year in his 2011 pro debut, Peraza played well at two more Rookie stops in the United States last summer. Peraza's strengths are his plus-plus speed and outstanding hand-eye coordination. He relishes the role of leadoff hitter, looking to get on base by any means necessary. He can beat out bunts and barrels the ball consistently when he swings away. He could use more patience to draw more walks, however. Peraza has surprising pop and may reach double-digits in home runs, but he stands out most with his quickness and basestealing instincts, which could result in 50 steals on an annual basis. He also has excellent first-step quickness at shortstop, where he has plus range and soft, sure hands. He has solid arm strength, but his throwing mechanics need work in order to improve his accuracy. Though he's nestled in an organization with plenty of depth at shortstop, Peraza has a higher ceiling than anyone the Braves have at the position--including Andrelton Simmons. Atlanta believes Peraza has the makeup to handle a jump to low Class A at age 19.
Minor League Top Prospects
Peraza ranked No. 14 on this list a year ago, but that came for his performance with Gwinnett as a member of the Braves organization. He has been traded twice since then, first going to the Dodgers at the 2015 deadline and then to the Reds in the offseason. He began 2016 back in the IL and put together a solid campaign. Peraza stands out for his hitting ability and speed. His short swing and hand-eye coordination give him a knack for putting the bat on the ball. He doesn't lift the ball much, instead hitting mostly line drives and groundballs that allow him to make the most of his plus speed. He is still learning the art of basestealing, but his speed makes him a stolen-base threat. Peraza played primarily shortstop at Louisville, a return to his original position, but he also saw time at second base and in center field. He has the range and hands for shortstop, but his average arm strength and throwing mechanics hamper him. He is a good defender at second base and has shown promise in the outfield.
Peraza opened 2015 as one of the youngest players in the IL. He stumbled only slightly in his Triple-A debut against pitchers who could exploit his lack of power and unwillingness to walk. Peraza hit his stride at midseason and closed out July by hitting safely in 15 of 16 games before the Braves shipped him to the Dodgers as part of the package for Cuban slugger Hector Olivera. He kept on hitting at Triple-A Oklahoma City and received a callup to Los Angeles in August. Peraza has tremendous bat-to-ball skills, and his ability to use all fields will keep his batting average well north of the league norm. However, he has bottom-of-the-scale power, as indicated by his .378 slugging percentage and 25 extra-base hits in 118 games at the Triple-A level. Peraza uses his above-average speed well by keeping the ball on the ground and bunting for hits. He wasn't the same prolific basestealer as he was in 2014, but he reads pitchers well and can seemingly steal at will. He shows above-average range and an average arm at second base, and he added center field to his rÃ©sumÃ© in 2015.
Though Peraza's fielding position changed in 2014--he shifted from shortstop to second base, side-stepping potential roadblock Andrelton Simmons in Atlanta--his game otherwise remained the same. He continued to emphasize contact and speed on offense, stealing 60 bases between high Class A Lynchburg and Mississippi (to rank third in the minors), hitting .339 and establishing a career high for home runs . . . with two. More than any player in the SL, Peraza has true feel for the barrel, identifying pitches he can handle and rarely hitting under the ball with his compact stroke. He doesn't project to hit for more than gap power, but he should maintain a high batting average with his plus wheels, spray-hitting approach and ability to bunt for hits. A plus runner on times to first base, Peraza relies just as much on great jumps and instincts to steal bases in volume. He projects as a first-division player with above-average range and arm strength to hold down second base.
A left groin strain might have been all that held back Peraza, whom the Braves considered for a callup to the majors in early August when shortstop Andrelton Simmons was banged up. Peraza advanced to Double-A Mississippi in mid-June and ranked third in the minors with 60 stolen bases. Peraza was clocked at 4.06 seconds when he beat out an infield hit at the Futures Game in Minneapolis. The former shortstop also has above-average range and throwing ability. Power is the only tool that's not part of his game. "He could be in the big leagues (at the start of) next year," Lynchburg manager Luis Salazar. "He's able to steal bases, and playing second base for the first time instead of shortstop was no problem for him. He was a lights-out runner in Double-A, too. "He could work counts, but at the same time he could put the ball in play. All the ingredients are there for him to be a good one."
Peraza isn?t necessarily as fast as you might think for a player who stole 64 bases this year. Scouts get a lot of 4.2 seconds?and even some 4.3s?when timing him to first base, which would indicate a 60 runner. Scouts and managers agreed, however, that Peraza?s speed plays like an 80 tool. He gets great jumps, is aggressive on the basepaths and creates plenty of havoc. ?I don?t think he?s a burner, but he knows how to steal bases,? Greenville?s Febles said. Peraza also defies expectations at shortstop. Unlike most young players, he?s more reliable defensively than flashy. His quick release allows him to get away with an average arm. He has soft hands and the game never seems too fast for him. Peraza has a line-drive stroke with well-below-average power. His best-case scenario is as a top-of-the-order hitter with an above-average hit tool.
The Braves signed both Peraza and Mauricio Cabrera on July 2, 2010, and they could team up again at low Class A Rome next season after playing well in the Appy League. A rangy athlete, Peraza began the summer by hitting .318/.348/.424 in 85 Gulf Coast League at-bats prior to joining Danville on July 17. More of a spray hitter now, Peraza shows the quick bat to hit for gap power and occasional homers as his body matures. A plus runner, he stole 25 bases in 30 tries between his two stops. He's an excellent bunter and baserunner. Peraza played in just 17 games at shortstop for Danville, but in that time he outdistanced the field in rate measures such as assists (3.7), double plays (0.8) and total chances (5.5) per game. While he offers above-average range, his tendency to push throws concerned at least one league manager.
Signed for $350,000 in 2010, Peraza is an athletic shortstop with excellent hand-eye coordination. He routinely barrels the ball and was one of the GCL's hardest hitters to strike out because his swing is short and quick and covers the whole plate. He has minimal power, but he sprays line drives to all fields and could grow into 10-15 homers per year at his peak. Peraza takes advantage of his plus-plus speed and has keen instincts on the basepaths. He has good range and instincts at shortstop, though he still needs to add polish there. He'll flash a solid-average arm, but he's prone to making errant throws on the run and needs to improve his accuracy.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Southern League in 2014
- Rated Best Defensive 2B in the Carolina League in 2014
- Rated Best Baserunner in the Carolina League in 2014
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Atlanta Braves in 2013
Background: The Braves signed both Peraza (for $350,000) and Mauricio Cabrera at the start of the international signing period in 2010. The organization's Rookie-level Dominican Summer League player of the year in his 2011 pro debut, Peraza played well at two more Rookie stops in the United States last summer. Scouting Report: Peraza's strengths are his plus-plus speed and outstanding hand-eye coordination. He relishes the role of leadoff hitter, looking to get on base by any means necessary. He can beat out bunts and barrels the ball consistently when he swings away. He could use more patience to draw more walks, however. Peraza has surprising pop and may reach double digits in home runs, but he stands out most with his quickness and basestealing instincts, which could result in 50 steals on an annual basis. He also has excellent first-step quickness at shortstop, where he has plus range and soft, sure hands. He has solid arm strength, but his throwing mechanics need work in order to improve his accuracy. The Future: Though he's nestled in an organization with plenty of depth at shortstop, Peraza has a higher ceiling than anyone the Braves have at the position--including Andrelton Simmons. Atlanta believes Peraza has the makeup to handle a jump to low Class A at age 19.