The Reds split Jose Peraza's season between Triple-A Louisville and Cincinnati, with the bulk of his time in the big leagues coming during the second half of the season. The overall production was better against the more difficult competition, as Peraza's contact-heavy approach (12.9 percent strikeout rate) and top-end speed enabled him to post an impressive line at the plate and on the bases in 72 games with Cincinnati. Once Billy Hamilton hit the disabled list in September, Peraza moved into the leadoff spot for his final 25 starts, but he slotted in as the team's No. 2 hitter directly behind Hamilton for a brief stretch in late August. In most leagues, Peraza qualifies as a shortstop and outfielder to begin 2017, and in some, he may also qualify at second base. Thanks to the deal that sent Brandon Phillips to the Braves over the offseason, the top prospect finally will have a full-time spot in the Reds lineup. With a full season's worth of starts, Peraza has the tools to push the 40-steal plateau in 2017.
Peraza is starting at second base and hitting leadoff for Saturday's game against the Cubs, Jamie Ramsey of Better Off Red reports. Billy Hamilton is getting the day off, allowing Peraza to take over as the No. 1 hitter for the first time this season. The 22-year-old has demonstrated his talent on the basepaths this year, swiping six bags over 16 games, but has been struggling mightily from the dish, recording just two hits in his last 20 at-bats.
Peraza will start at second base and bat second in the order during Tuesday's game against the Orioles. Manager Bryan Price gave Peraza his second day off of the season in Sunday's loss to the Brewers, deploying Arismendy Alcantara as his starting second baseman. With the Reds opening a three-game series with the Orioles, Peraza will return to his usual duties at the keystone while occupying a premium spot in the lineup between Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto.
Peraza is out of the lineup Sunday against the Brewers. Peraza has made four straight starts at the keystone but will give way to Arismendy Alcantara for the afternoon contest. The soon-to-be 23-year-old Peraza has just a .535 OPS through 12 games this season but has still rewarded fantasy owners with five stolen bases. Don't expect him to ride the pine for long.
Peraza went 3-for-5 with a double, a steal, two RBI and a run against the Pirates on Wednesday. He's now hit safely in five straight, and Peraza already has four steals to go with his .297 average. After a big spring, everything's more or less proceeding according to plan for the impressive young speedster.
Peraza is out of the lineup Saturday against the Cardinals, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. This will be his first day off after starting the first four games. He is 3-for-17 and 1-for-1 on stolen-base attempts in the early going. Scooter Gennett will get the nod at second base and lead off against righty Michael Wacha.
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