Jose Peraza: Sunday Morning Over Easy

Jose Peraza. Keep an eye on this basestealer. He could be a great source of steals - Stacy Revere

Let's investigate the hot start of this Braves middle infield prospect while we relax with some coffee and breakfast.

Jose Peraza - 2b stud of the future in Atlanta? I wouldn't bet against this speedster.

Signed as an amateur out of Venezuela in 2010, Jose Peraza is one of those below-the-radar types who simply exploded when they get exposure in the US after leaving the Dominican Summer League. While he was initially signed as a SS, the emergence of Andrelton Simmons as a legitimate offensive impact player has pushed him to 2b, where he profiles as a potential 50 SB guy who relishes being in the leadoff spot in the lineup. Far more dynamic than Tommy La Stella, who is another Braves farmhand who plays 2b, Peraza has outstanding hand-eye coordination that allows him to also be an asset in the #2 hole in the lineup, where he can hit behind the runner as well as have the confidence to work counts and see a lot of pitches. Let's take a close look at the tools Peraza has while we take a sip of the coffee and ponder this 20 year old speedster:

The Tools:

Hit: 55

Speed: 70

Hit for Power: 40

Arm: 50

Defense: 55

Overall: 60

I initially thought Peraza would be an interesting writeup because of his emergence as he has climbed the ladder, and here is why:

2014: Through 100 Abs so far this year, he is hitting a triple slash line of .330/.353/.392. Now typically anything where we are assessing such a small sample size I hesitate. But a deeper look reveals a consolidation of his last two months from last year, when he combined to post a .310/.350/.392 triple slash, which gives us a much larger 350 AB sample from which to say, hmmm. This could be a great example of a player building on his development and putting them to use and watching those tools turn into performance.

Three comps I would throw on Peraza at this juncture would include a pretty wide swath of players. Here is where I would peg his ceiling, his most likely, and worst case scenario comps:

Ceiling: Davey Lopes. Great, great speed without much power, but speed turns lots of contact into base hits, enabling him to get on base and be a great asset in Rs and SBs. Could be a league leader in SB.

Most Likely: Jose Altuve - The speed plays, but an inability to drive the ball for power makes contact hugely important as he advances.

Worst Case Scenario: Kolten Wong - Still has the speed, but ends up as a super utility who bounces from org to org due to an inability to be a better hitter.

While these three outcomes may scare you off from Peraza, he has the requisite tools to turn his skills into measurable performance. I would be a big buyer of Peraza at this juncture, even factoring in Tommy La Stella's place within the organization's farm hierarchy. Peraza has the higher ceiling, better tools, and the makeup you should look for in a fantasy middle infielder.

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