The Times-Tribune’s annual countdown of the top 10 Yankees prospects is back. Here’s what happens: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders beat writer Conor Foley ranks 15 prospects, Donnie Collins ranks 15 prospects, and then they’re averaged together. This list takes into account ETA for the big leagues. You’re going to find some guys who might not have ceilings as high as others, but who instead could be in a position to help the Yankees sooner.
First up is 20-year-old shortstop (he’ll be 21 in June), Oswald Peraza. The Yankees liked him enough — or, were worried that other teams would like him just as much — to add him to the 40-man roster in November, protecting him from being scooped up in the Rule 5 draft. He’s still quite a ways away from the bigs. Peraza finished 2019 at Low-A Charleston, meaning High-A Hudson Valley should be in the cards this year. Because he was on the 40-man roster, he did see time during big league spring training this year and went 1 for 14 with an RBI.
Acquired: Signed as a nondrafted free agent July 2, 2016, out of Venezuela.
SWB ETA: 2023
What about last year?
Didn’t get an invite to the Yankees’ alternate site at PNC Field, but he did play six games in the Venezuelan Winter League. He batted .250 (4 for 16) with a double. Walked four times against six strikeouts. In 2019, he played 19 games at short-season Staten Island, then moved up to Low-A Charleston for 46 games. Peraza put up a .273/.348/.333 line in Charleston — where he was 2.5 years younger than the average player — with five doubles and two homers. He also swiped 18 bases and was caught just five times. In the field, he made 10 errors in 263 chances (.962 fielding percentage).
Tell me something good
Here are parts of some scouting reports from national outlets:
- MLB.com: “… Peraza could have four plus tools once he’s fully developed. He has smooth actions at shortstop, the arm to make any throw necessary and a good internal clock that helps him slow the game down defensively. He makes good use of his plus speed and stole 44 bases in 54 attempts in 159 games over his first three pro seasons. …”
- Fangraphs: “… He added strength to a contact/defense foundation and his exit velocities moved very close to major league average, which was impressive for a 19-year-old. …”
- Baseball America: “… Peraza’s top skill is his ability to put the barrel on the ball. He consistently produces louder exit velocities than his small stature would suggest, including a peak velocity of 110 mph. …”
- The Athletic (Keith Law): “… He’s a very athletic shortstop with plus speed and a solid approach so far despite being young for his levels. …”
Photo: New York Yankees
Conor Foley goes beyond the box score with in-depth coverage of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. He has worked at The Times-Tribune since graduating from University of Scranton in 2011, and he has covered the RailRiders since 2017. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9125; or @railridersTT