D.J. Peterson has been on my radar for some time as a prospect who I believe has some serious fantasy value. Going into this season I had him ranked as my 5th best 3B prospect mostly due to his advanced bat. Other prospect analysts out there were skeptical of his defense and less sure of his bat than I was, and his year has done nothing to dissuade me. Plus, who cares about his defense — we play fantasy baseball!
Peterson was drafted in 2013 with the 12th overall pick out of New Mexico University by the Seattle Mariners and has been playing 3B ever since. At 6’1 and 190 lbs Peterson is far from the most athletic guy to ever play the hot corner, but he isn’t the worst. His stature limits his mobility but his 25 errors over 127 minor league games at 3B are far from the worst.
The real skill set and value from Peterson is in his bat. With 25 HR across two levels this year, Peterson has shown to be not only powerful but also polished in regards to having a plan at the plate. Across two levels he has slashed .301/.360/.562. He’s short to the ball and possesses great bat speed; he has also become more adept at using the whole field against pitches away in the zone.
In baseball, team need can be nearly as important as development in getting players to reach the big leagues quickly, and looking at the Seattle roster I can say with confidence they need Peterson. Seattle has a glut of left-handed bats, most of which aren’t performing like Seattle thought they might, and they are very lean on righties starting only three.
|Baseball Prospectus (Jason Parks)||65|
|FanGraphs (Mark Hulet)||70|
|ESPN (Keith Law)||NR|
As a team Seattle has only two guys this year who have hit over 10 HR — Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino each have 17. Out of those two players only Zunino bats righty and the player with the second most HR from the right side is the constantly injured Corey Hart. The long and short of it is this: Seattle’s lineup is starved for right-handed power, and aside from Kris Bryant and Joey Gallo no 3B prospect in the minors has more than 15 HR while manning the position.
When Peterson gets the show it will not be at 3B because Seager is a monster and a better player defensively. Logan Morrison on the other hand has been terrible and his .215 BA and 6 HR leave the door wide open for Peterson’s right-handed power stroke. Despite not being ranked higher than 46th on any major prospect list, I am confident he has the tools to succeed as a pro.
Given Seattle’s position for the second wild card spot, it would not shock me to see him called up in September to bolster the lineup. Peterson has some more work to do at AA, though, like getting his average up from .250 and working on not grounding out as much. Unlike other power prospects he grounds out more than he pops out. This will need to improve for his ceiling to be reached but the bat is real and he will be a factor.
Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for Fantasy Baseball
1. Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC (LW: 2)
Bryant has had one of the best minor league seasons that I can remember. Right now he has 37 HR while slashing .342/.448/.692 on the year. If Baez can have the success he is enjoying at Wrigley, Bryant can be even better.
Last 10 days: .406/.578/.875, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB
2. Byron Buxton, OF, MIN (LW: 1)
Buxton has not looked like himself over the past 25 games at Fort Myers. I can only ignore the numbers in favor of the tools for so long, which is why Buxton gets bumped. I am not down on him long term, though.
Last 10 days: .195/.238/.244, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3 SB
3. Addison Russell, SS, OAK (LW: 3)
If I was Theo Epstein right now I would be walking around the office in Chicago smoking cigars and telling people how smart I was. This man will become immortal if he brings the Cubs to the Promised Land. Oh and by the way, Russell is tearing it up.
Last 10 days: .325/.372/.525, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB
4. Lucas Giolito, P, WAS (LW: 9)
Giolito makes the jump over his fellow pitchers mostly because he looks really healthy and has been dominating A-ball like a first rounder should. This guy is a true ace in the making. Great control and command for a guy his age, too.
Line at A: 88 IP, 2.35 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 99 K
5. Corey Seager, SS, LAD (LW: 7)
Seager is ticking along nicely at AA batting a cool .333 since reaching the level. The stage doesn’t look too big for him and he’s developing in all phases of the game.
Last 10 days: .324/.350/.568, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 0 SB
6. Joey Gallo, 3B, TEX (LW: NR)
Bursting onto the scene at number 6! I couldn’t ignore Gallo anymore since he’s the only other minor league player with the same amount of HR as our number 1 prospect, Bryant. His power is undeniable!
Last 10 days: .205/.262/.385, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 0 SB
7. Archie Bradley, SP, ARI (LW: 5)
Bradley continues to look average at AA and isn’t inspiring the same confidence he did last season. He is still so young and maybe his huge step forward last year made us all jump to rush his natural development process.
Line at AA: 38.1 IP, 3.76 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 31 K
8. Dylan Bundy, SP, BAL (LW: 6)
Bundy had a great last outing, allowing zero runs and striking out seven, but his innings are still very low and his stuff is inconsistent. It will take him until next spring to resemble the guy who we all think can be a future ace.
Line at A: 26.1 IP, 4.78 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 15 K
9. Johnathan Gray, SP, COL (LW: 8)
Gray is below the rest of the pitchers on this list because I believe his ceiling is lower and his park is worse. He has been performing solidly but not like a #1 in the waiting.
Line at AA: 112 IP, 3.78 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 102 K
10. Joc Pederson, OF, LAD (LW: NR)
Pederson has been about as cold as it gets over the past two weeks and yet his season line is still .300/24 HR/25 SB. Goes to show the skill set on this kid.
Last 10 days: .098/.140/.244, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB
Missing Due to Season Ending Injury: Carlos Correa and Miguel Sano