Yankees' prospect Oswald Peraza may be the youngest player invited to camp this spring, but he's already making a tremendous impression with his manager.
"He's a good looking player on both sides of the ball," Aaron Boone said on Tuesday morning. "He's a guy that has a very bright future. Still a little ways away, but he's a guy from the future standpoint that we're about as excited as you can be. He looks like a guy that's going to be an everyday shortstop in this league."
That's some high praise for a youngster born after the turn of the century.
In fact, Peraza was just three years old when Boone sent the Yankees to the World Series with his iconic walk-off homer against the Red Sox in the 2003 American League Championship Series.
So, what exactly stands out about the 20-year-old's game that makes the skipper think the prospect will pan out at the big-league level?
"His swing, his athleticism and his hands in the field," Boone added. "He's acquitted himself well. I remember bringing him over last year from minor-league camp in spring training for a game and just really good at-bat quality in the game he came over here, he carries himself really well. I'm excited about him."
Peraza came off the bench in Tuesday's road win against the Orioles, going 0-2 at the plate. He was jammed in his first chance in the batter's box, grounding back to the pitcher, but he was able to barrel up a ball in his second at-bat, lining a ball sharply toward the second baseman.
The highest Peraza has played so far in the Minors is Low-A with the Charleston RiverDogs. The shortstop played in 46 games at that level in 2019, hitting .273/.348/.333 with 31 runs scored and 18 stolen bases.
As Boone alluded to, Peraza is still several years away from being called up to the big-league club. Then again, MLB Pipeline—who ranks Peraza as New York's fourth-best prospect—predicts the shortstop will make his debut as early as next year.
The logical follow-up question would be surrounding Peraza's fit on this current Yankees roster. If Gleyber Torres is the shortstop of the future—and Torres is only 24—then does Peraza not have a spot? Besides, DJ LeMahieu just signed quite the lengthy deal to stay in pinstripes so it's not like Peraza can simply swap to the other side of the second-base bag.
Regardless of what the future holds, Peraza is yet another prospect that Boone is very excited about. That should make this fan base pretty excited too.
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