Several days ago I posted a Mississippi Braves game report from late June, in which I pointed out that Braves second base prospect Jose Peraza had an odd and overly-complicated setup in the batters’ box. Here’s what I said:
The speedy second baseman Peraza has an interesting and nonchalant setup in the batter’s box.
It’s a bit awkward, but it seems to work for him. Still, I’d like to see his hands start further back. Shortening his hands like he does also limits his power, though he doesn’t profile as a power hitter. Any consistent power he shows will come from shooting doubles and triples into the gaps.
Seems logical to me. And apparently it was something that the Braves were also thinking about. From an article on shortstop Daniel Castro, comes this nugget about Peraza:
Mississippi also got a big night from Peraza, who went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a stolen base after a day off on Monday to make some adjustments to his swing. Hitting coach John Moses wanted to adjust Peraza’s hand positioning, sliding the second baseman’s hands further back in his setup to hopefully create a little more bat speed.
“He was setting up with his hands almost in the middle of his stomach, way forward,” Holbert said. “We moved his hands back in his regular setup, back a little bit, and that should help him really feel those hands when they’re moving back, getting them back behind the baseball.”
Holbert was struck by how quickly Peraza made the adjustment, something that speaks to the 20-year-old’s coachability.
“It was a small adjustment, but it’s good he had success that quickly,” Holbert said. “Hopefully, he will continue with that.”
In his first 10 games at Double-A, Peraza got off to an 18-for-45 (.400) start, while hitting safely in 9 out of those 10 games. But then he went 4-for-26 (.154) during his next 6 games. Since the off-day to make adjustments, Peraza has gone 7-for-10 in 2 games.
Yesterday I asked M-Braves broadcaster Kyle Tait if he could get some more specifics, and possibly a picture. In his usual fashion, the hardest-working broadcaster in baseball put together this composite of Peraza’s hands before (left) and after (right), and got some quotes from Mississippi Braves hitting coach John Moses.
That’s a subtle, but important difference. Via Kyle Tait’s M-Braves Clubhouse Report blog, here is John Moses on why the changes were made:
Before, his hands weren’t getting to the hitting position, and there was no movement on the bottom half of his foundation, and he was kind of just swinging at it. He didn’t have a plan going up to the plate. […] We made a couple of adjustments; moving his hands back and using his lower half.
Keep in mind that Peraza is only 20-years-old. It’s great to see that he’s so coachable, which has been the norm his short career. He’s already made a huge adjustment for the organization this year, moving from shortstop to second base.
About Peraza, Moses added, “He did everything we asked him to do.”
It’s ambitious to think that Peraza could see time in Atlanta this season. But if there were to be an injury to a middle infielder on the big league team we could see the Braves choose to promote the young Venezuelan. More likely though, Peraza will be given the opportunity to push La Stella at second base next spring.