Peraza shines in Double-A debut

The Braves promoted Jose Peraza Thursday and he instantly opened some eyes in Double-A.

Jose Peraza did all he could do in the Carolina League. There was nothing left for him to prove. So the Braves sent him to Double-A Mississippi after the All-Star Break, and Peraza wasted no time in showing how great a prospect he is at the next level.

Peraza was 3-5 in his debut with a RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base. The Braves won 9-4 as they got a great pitching performance from last year's top draft pick, Jason Hursh, who improved to 6-4 after allowing only three runs on seven hits in seven innings of work.

But Peraza is obviously a story line. With the Braves seeking a true leadoff hitter at the big league level, Peraza is going to make a point for a job if he continues this torrid pace.

Despite turning 20 years old on April 30, Peraza dominated the Carolina League. He led the CL in hitting with a .342 average, in hits with 97 and in stolen bases with 35.

Could Peraza be in Atlanta this season? Yes, he just might. There was chatter in spring training that Peraza was on a Rafael Furcal-like climb to the big leagues. Furcal spent the 1999 season in Low-A Macon and High-A Myrtle Beach before making the jump in 2000 to the Atlanta roster. We all know the jump to the big leagues Jason Heyward made when he was 20 years old in 2010.

If Peraza does well in Double-A, the Braves just might be tempted to see if Peraza can contribute for the stretch drive. Scouts did believe in March that Peraza was not that far away.

But what happens to Peraza if Tommy La Stella continues to do well at second base for Atlanta? Well, that's one of those "we'll deal with it when we have to situations." But it might behoove the Braves to see if Peraza can roam the outfield. He's more athletic than La Stella, so it would probably be easier for Peraza to make that switch.
Right now, however, the Braves just want this young man to continue hitting. He's having a great season, and the next thing to look out for is how long he'll be calling Mississippi his home away from home.

It might not be for long if Peraza continues to hit.

Listen to "The Bill Shanks Show" from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and e-mail him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.


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