Oswald Peraza Eyes His Shot To Be Yankees' Shortstop
By all accounts, Oswald Peraza’s graduation from prospect status is imminent.
The 22-year-old shortstop is expected to make the big league roster out of camp this spring, picking up right where he left off after a much-anticipated September callup produced a .306/.404/.429 slash line in 18 games, not to mention a start in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.
Peraza has moved quickly through the last two years. He started 2021 with High-A Hudson Valley before making a big jump last season, a campaign in which Yankees minor league hitting coordinator Joe Migliaccio noticed a significant improvement in his mental approach to the game at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“One hundred percent of the credit goes to Oswald,” Migliaccio said. “He spent countless hours game-planning—probably more time than almost any hitter we have—in preparing for the starting pitcher. Whether that’s what he does in certain counts, or what his tendencies are compared to his own and where he does damage and where he doesn’t.
"At some point, there’s going to be a mistake . . . Can he put together a plan well enough to hammer the mistake when he gets it?”
Not only did Peraza show he could do just that with a career-high 19 homers last year with the RailRiders, but according to Migliaccio, he made “some of the best swing decisions of his career” once he got to the big leagues last year, where he dazzled at both second base and shortstop.
As a plus defender, Peraza has the versatility to handle either spot. The organization remains confident that he will emerge as an MLB regular sooner rather than later.
“There’s no doubt in any of our minds that he’s an everyday shortstop in the big leagues,” Migliaccio said. “The guy has every ability that he needs to be able to produce double-digit home runs, double-digit doubles.
"And while he’s doing that, he’s also going to be making really good contact. When he gets those at-bats under his belt at the big league level, he’s only going to become more and more comfortable.”