Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe in three way battle for Yankees’ starting shortstop
In a repeat of the Derek Jeter shortstop battle 20 years ago, the New York Yankees must choose between a startling rookie and a solid veteran at short stop.
Most of the players will be in uniform and heading into spring training camp, and perhaps the biggest question that New York Yankees skipper Aaron Boone needs to resolve before March 30 is who will be the starting shortstop for the 2023 season?
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe are all involved in a sprint to take hold of the marquee infield position ahead of Opening Day.
For several years now, multiple reports have pointed toward either Peraza or Volpe as the future of the Yankees organization, so it came as something of a surprise during the offseason when the team decided to give Kiner-Falefa a one-year contract extension at a cost of six million dollars.
If Isiah manages to hold onto his job and appears in the Opening Day lineup, many will see it as a stumble for the Yankees, indicating that Peraza and Volpe are perhaps not as good as previously thought.
This brings to mind the last time that the pinstripes handed the middle infield over to a rookie, back in 1995. It will be recalled that the young Derek Jeter had a dismal spring training that year, although in the end he was tapped by the Yankees to take over the key infield position.
The question is whether they will take a chance now and repeat that gutsy move?
The statisticians argue that Peraza’s projections offer the Yankees a defense that is far superior of one that includes Kiner-Falefa, and an offensive production just slightly south of the veteran’s numbers. Peraza was called up to the Show at the end of last season, giving him limited experience.
Why don’t the Yankees just name a shortstop?
The long and the short of it is that the Yankees likely feel it unnecessary at the moment. Giving Peraza or Volpe the idea that they are being gifted the position could be fatal to their development, and cutting IKF out at this early stage could reduce the value of their seasoned player.
Or perhaps it is something else. Perhaps they feel so good about Volpe that they are hoping he can show them something this spring to change their plans. While the youngster has only 22 Triple-A games under his belt, the Yankees may be hoping that they have caught lightning in a bottle.