Cincinnati Reds’ shortstop José Peraza quietly having a career season

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 8: Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds throws to first base after forcing out Matt Carpenter #13 of the St. Louis Cardinals at second base in the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park on June 8, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 8: Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds throws to first base after forcing out Matt Carpenter #13 of the St. Louis Cardinals at second base in the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park on June 8, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

As the Cincinnati Reds continue to have new faces step up on the mound and at the plate, few have been consistent throughout the grind of this season. Not a flashy guy by any means, but shortstop José Peraza has been quietly putting up incredible numbers.

In baseball, home runs and runs batted in are “stats that matter” and the ones people tend to remember. A principle that usually goes unnoticed is getting on base, as this formula is the best chance for winning games and increases winning percentage. When you think of the Cincinnati Reds and getting on base, Joey Votto is the model player.

Always near the top in on-base percentage, among other stats, Votto has the formula figured out. José Peraza has been able to consistently reach that mark and more this season, especially when the team has needed him most.

José Peraza signed with the Atlanta Braves as an international free agent in 2010. After spending the next four season bouncing around the minors, including an All-Star Futures Game selection in 2014, he finally made the 40 man roster and manned second base for the Braves.

More from Blog Red Machine

He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015 and quickly made history when he tripled in his first at-bat. Injuries plagued his time with the Dodgers, and in 2015 was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with outfielder Scott Schebler and infielder Brandon Dixon.

Peraza is an on-base machine

Averaging almost one hit every game, José Peraza has made a knack for giving the Reds a chance on the bases each time out. In the last 30 games alone, he has 35 hits and 12 of those have come in the last seven games. Over that stretch he has also been slugging an impressive .846.

Peraza continues to see the ball well and delivers hits to provide RBI opportunities from the sluggers that follow. He also holds the current title for the team lead in doubles (26). This season alone Peraza has already surpassed his offensive categories and has established himself as the everyday shortstop while playing even fewer games than last season.

Already having eight home runs and 42 runs batted in doesn’t seem like a lot, but in almost twenty fewer games played than last year, Peraza has had a career season in August.

Having far fewer strikeouts (55), his highest batting average (.292), slugging percentage (.410), and on-base plus slugging (.744) are all the highest since the 2016 season when he only played 72 games. He also has been able to maintain plate discipline by being walked 27 times as well.

Swinging for contact, not power

Peraza currently isn’t your typical power hitter who can lead the team in home runs, or even runs batted in. What he possesses though is the ability to make contact, even on pitches out of the zone, and drive them anywhere. As his plate discipline strengthens with experience, he will continue to draw more walks and learn to take pitches to work the count, much like Votto has mastered.

While Scooter Gennett has deserved the right to be the starting second baseman of the future, Peraza is proving that a move to shortstop can be a successful one and that he could be the shortstop of the future.

The power to average more home runs will come with time and when it does, Peraza becomes a dangerous hitter at the top of the lineup. The thing to love about this guy is the ability to hit pitches when the rest of the lineup isn’t, and every team needs a player who can figure opposing pitchers out.

Winding into the Windy City

The road trip continues for the Reds as they travel to Wrigley for a weekend series with the Chicago Cubs. Red hot starter Anthony DeSclafani takes the mound tonight against newly acquired Cole Hamels looking to strike first in this four-game set.

Next. Top 5 Reds catchers of the last 50 years

With the report of Matt Harvey being claimed off revocable waivers, it will be interesting to see who the Reds send out on Friday. Luis Castillo and Homer Bailey round out the series starters.