D.J. Peterson: #61 MLB Prospect According to Keith Law’s Top-100


Yesterday I talked about Alex Jackson and his #59 ranking in ESPN’s Top-100; today I am looking at the other Seattle Mariner in the top-100, just two spots back at #61.

D.J. Peterson, third baseman in the Mariners farm system, has the potential to change the Mariners lineup with his bat in the near future.

Just missing out on Keith Law’s top-100 prospects in 2014, Peterson has made the leap up to #61 with some impressive hitting. Reaching as high as Double-A Jackson in 2014, D.J. Peterson hit .297/.360/.552 with 31 home runs and 7 stolen bases.

At 23-years old, Peterson could find himself in Seattle at some point in 2015, especially considering the prowess of his right-handed bat.

Here’s how Keith Law profiles the third baseman:

"Peterson just missed my top 100 last year, moving up to the middle of the list this offseason thanks to a strong debut campaign that saw him perform well at two levels despite a series of nagging injuries. This says nothing of the broken jaw that ended his 2013 campaign; Peterson showed no ill effects from that injury. (It was caused by a 96 mph fastball, and he never flinched or bailed out on inside pitches thereafter.) He’s more of a pure hitter than a power guy but can get a little homer-happy and lose some of his knack for making hard contact. He has dropped his load further down toward his rear hip since college, which gives him a little more loft through contact but also puts him on top of the ball too often. I’d rather see him keep his hands a little higher and hit more line drives, even at the cost of five homers per year.He’s played more third base than first in pro ball, but first is his ultimate position. He can be a high-average, 15-20-homer hitter or a lower average, 20-25-homer hitter. The latter would make him more of an average regular, but the former gives him a chance to be a full grade higher."

Looking at Law’s analysis, I would much rather see Peterson hitting 15-20 home runs with a .280-.290 average than 25 home runs with a .245 average. We signed Nelson Cruz to mash home runs.

It is extremely unlikely Peterson starts the year in the Majors, as the 25-man roster is pretty well stocked at the 1B and 3B positions. However, with injuries he could find himself in Seattle before the September call-up.

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As Law notes, Peterson will eventually be a first baseman. But it is necessary to have that defensive experience just in case Kyle Seager gets hurt and has to miss an extended period of time.

So what can M’s fans expect from Peterson in the near future? Look for him to be a September call-up in 2015, adding bench and pinch-hitting right-handed depth as the Mariners make a push towards the playoffs.

Then, depending on his progress, he could be competing with Logan Morrison for the first base spot, or potentially get reps in the outfield. If LoMo becomes a big time hitter, though, Peterson may be hard pressed to find a spot on the Mariners roster in the near future.