2. Oswald Peraza
Yes, he’s the Yankees’ No. 4 prospect, but he should soar much higher.
The Yankees’ pitching plan for 2021 involves tossing nine options at the wall, hoping five or six stick, and praying there’s a clear-cut No. 2 by October.
Whether you agree with it or not, it should be fairly easy to see a world where both Schmidt and Garcia have pitched too many innings at the big league level to qualify for any prospect lists this time next year.
Dominguez, pending pure foolishness, will be the team’s clear-cut No. 1 prospect and most projectable commodity. But the No. 2 spot is right there for the taking, and Peraza could earn that distinction if his power develops as anticipated during this calendar year, which will likely be spent vacillating between Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley.
Peraza’s often been the forgotten talent towards the top of the Yankees’ farm system — but not by the big boys like Baseball America, who could foresee his insertion at shortstop if Gleyber Torres struggles in the years to come, instead of a high-dollar infield addition.
Refreshingly, all reports indicate Peraza used his time off to refine the skills that will be most important to his development; respectfully, the Yankees will never hand their infield keys to an all-glove, no-hit option. Those days are long gone. Every Yankee on the diamond has to mash, to some degree.
The last time we saw Peraza in 2019, he cracked full-season ball by the end of the campaign, logging 46 games at Single-A Charleston and hitting .273 with a .348 OBP, displaying an advanced feel and comfort for the level. The next time we see him, he’ll be two years older and will bring a plan of powerful attack to the table, thanks to his longer-than-ever offseason of launch angle development.
15-20 homers at Hudson Valley isn’t unreasonable.