Peraza Seriously Turning Heads

Peraz has hit safely in 11 of his first 12 games

ORLANDO, FL - Just two months after turning 18, Venezuelan native and GCL Braves shortstop Jose Peraza has already built a reputation at the plate, on the base paths, and with his glove. His speed and on base capabilities have earned him comparisons to major leaguers such as Elvis Andrus and Omar Infante.

"He's well beyond his years. Has a very good idea and very high baseball instincts for a young kid. He plays the game the right way, plays hard," GCL Braves hitting coach D.J. Boston said.

In twelve games thus far he has hit .313 with 14 runs scored, three doubles and two triples. The power has gained momentum, but don't expect Peraza to develop into a home run hitter. His main goal is to get on base, a place where pitchers are forced to pay attention to him.

"In Spring Training we talked about wanting to pull the ball a bit more when guys would try and come inside. He used to try and inside-out a lot of balls to right field, but with the work he has put in he's started pulling the ball more," Boston said.

A number that stands out when looking at Peraza is his ability to assist a rally or keep scoring opportunities alive. In 274 at-bats he has grounded into a double play just three times; a testament to the heart and hustle of Peraza. He also has yet to be caught stealing in 2012, going 9-for-9 this season.

"Overall he has great instincts, great base running abilities, puts the bat on the ball, he can bunt and he's a plus-runner. He plays solid defense at short," GCL manager Rocket Wheeler said.

With his speed, glove, high character and praise coming from all around the club, Peraza insists that the one area of concentration for him has been at the plate. Although his average leaves for seemingly small improvement, being a leadoff hitter requires that you are consistently on base.

"Most of my work I've been doing is at the plate. [Saturday's] game wasn't so great, but I am happy with how I have hit this season," Peraza said. "I have a better average than last year and I continue to improve my approach."

No doubt the expectations are high for the youngster, but his calm demeanor and the energy he brings to his team allow for his potential to be limitless.

"He has very good hands, moves his feet well and plays the game hard, in ways that you can't teach," Boston said. "I harp on intangibles because you just can't teach heart. He's a gift, keep it moving."

Prior to the GCL Braves loss at home to the GCL Yankees on Saturday, Peraza had a seven-game hit streak as he collected 13 hits in 30 appearances and struck out only two times, and he has collected a three-game hit streak since then. If Peraza's offensive game translates to higher levels the way it has in the Rookie Leagues, his future will be bright.

"The big leagues. He's got all the intangibles to be a big league player. As long as he keeps playing the right way, going about his business, he could possibly be in the big leagues," Boston added.

"Defensively, within the next two or three years, he could be playing for a major league team." Recommended Stories

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