Cincinnati Reds: Five players to be thankful for heading into next season

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 05: Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds is greeted at home plate by Joey Votto #19 and Scooter Gennett #3 after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 5, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 05: Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds is greeted at home plate by Joey Votto #19 and Scooter Gennett #3 after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 5, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OH – JULY 21: Jose Peraza #9 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after hitting a double during the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on July 21, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

2. José Peraza, Shortstop

Is there a player on the Cincinnati Reds who generates more excitement over his potential than José Peraza? We know what to expect from players like Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, and Eugenio Suárez. In fact, I think Peraza is in a similar position that Suárez was in last year. The sky is the limit for this young, talented shortstop.

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  • Cincinnati has been searching for their shortstop of the future ever since Barry Larkin left the Reds. They thought they finally found a permanent replacement when Zack Cozart was called up, however, injuries derailed what could’ve been a fantastic career with the Cincinnati Reds. Cozart is now on the west coast with the Los Angeles Angels.

    Peraza looks the part with his 181 hits last season, falling just short of Barry Larkin’s record for shortstops. Peraza led the National League in singles and started to show the promise that the Reds were hoping to see when they acquired him from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    The entire Reds infield, except for Peraza, went to the All-Star Game last season. I firmly believe that Peraza could join his teammates this coming season and represent Cincinnati in the Midsummer Classic next year in Cleveland.

    If there’s one hole in Peraza’s game, it’s his defense. He led all shortstops in the NL in errors last season. If Peraza truly wants to be thought of as one of the elite shortstops in the game, he needs to improve his defensive skills while at the very least maintain his offensive game.

    Peraza reached Super 2 status this offseason and will be arbitration eligible for the first time. MLB Trade Rumors predicts Peraza to make in the neighborhood of $3.6 MM in 2019. That’s a bargain for someone of Peraza’s skillset and one has to wonder if the Reds would entertain the idea of a contract extension this season.

    Peraza is just 23-years-old and appears to be coming into his own. While he has yet to put it all together, the potential is there for Peraza to be one of the cornerstones of this Cincinnati Reds franchise for years to come. Reds fans can be thankful that they may have finally found their shortstop of the future.