Anyone who has watched the Yankees this September knows that Isiah Kiner-Falefa is going to be starting at shortstop in the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean that top prospect Oswald Peraza can’t play into the postseason roster.
Even though it’s a small sample size, Peraza has looked comfortable at the major league level. He had a wRC+ of 148 coming into Tuesday, which was before he recorded his first home run in the big leagues. It is too soon to look into defensive metrics, but he has looked comfortable in the field and we all know that the Yankees believe he has the chance to be elite on that side of the ball.
As mentioned before, he won’t be taking Kiner-Falefa’s spot in the starting lineup. Neither will he take Gleyber Torres’ spot at second base with how hot he has been in September. Josh Donaldson has been elite at third base this season, and the Yankees just got DJ LeMahieu back from a toe injury. You would have to imagine that those two are ahead of Peraza when it comes to playing third base in the playoffs.
So where does Peraza fit on the postseason roster? The answer is in the place of Tim Locastro. Peraza will get a good experience being with the team regardless of if he is on the roster or not, but he could arguably be more useful to the Yankees than Locastro.
Peraza is in the 90th percentile for sprint speed, while Locastro is in the 99th percentile. Yes, Peraza is a tad slower, but he still would be a good pinch runner. He also could be an extra pinch hit option, as most would have more faith in him than Locastro in that type of situation.
The Yankees should also have enough outfielders to operate this postseason. Most would probably expect them to roll with an outfield of Oswaldo Cabrera in right, Harrison Bader in center and Aaron Judge in right. Aaron Hicks has played well the last couple of weeks and is an option for the fourth outfielder, and Andrew Benintendi could come back at some point if the Yankees make a bit of a run. Knowing this, Peraza adds another option for a defensive replacement in the infield.
The Yankees will have to sacrifice a little bit of speed on the bench to make this happen, but it might be worth it. It will be interesting to see what the Yankees decide before the ALDS starts next week.
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac