Most of the focus of the three-player trade between the Dodgers, Braves and Marlins is focused on the major league level, and rightfully so since the Dodgers added two starting pitchers and two relievers, one of each they can keep past 2015. But a key piece of the deal for the Dodgers was minor league infielder Jose Peraza.
Peraza was signed by the Braves out of Venezuela in 2010. As a 21-year-old in Triple-A this season the right-hander is hitting .294/.318/.379 with 10 doubles, seven triples and three home runs in 96 games. He has stolen 26 bases in 33 chances this season, after stealing 64 bases in 79 attempts at Class-A Rome in 2013 and 60 steals in 75 attempts between Class-A and Double-A in 2014.
"Peraza has a quick, short swing and excellent hand-eye coordination. His swing produces minimal power and he mostly tries to keep the ball on the ground to use his considerable speed to his advantage," said MLB.com. "He's a threat to steal whenever he gets on base and has swiped at least 60 bases in each of his first two years of full-season ball."
The BA scouting report of Peraza says, "Scouts worry how much impact a slap hitter who doesn’t walk can have, but they love his speed and defense."
Defense will be the key it seems for Peraza, no matter the middle infield position he occupies. He has played second base since the beginning of 2014 in the Braves' system, but played shortstop before that.
MLB.com slated Peraza's estimated time of arrival in the majors as 2015, and noted he would be an above average defender in MLB.
John Sickels wrote this of Peraza on Thursday:
He doesn't have huge power or much patience but he makes contact, is an effective basestealer (26 steals this year, 203 in his minor league career), and draws praise for his defense up the middle. The Braves used him mainly at second base and center field this year but he had a good reputation as a shortstop before shifting positions to accommodate Andrelton Simmons.
The Braves added Peraza to the 40-man roster last November, and he is using his first option year in 2015. He will have two option years remaining after this season.