For those who follow Cactus League play religiously, you’ll know there’s always at least one or two Dodgers prospects who rise to the occasion, causing management to raise their collective brow and wonder if a certain youngster is ready for the big stage.
“There’s a lot to like with DJ—the way he works and prepares, (and he’s) very mature as a baseball player,” Roberts said.
“He’s great. Awesome. Works his butt off. Always trying to learn,” Turner remarked. “Obviously he’s big and strong and has a really, really good swing.”
Indeed, it was great praise for the Glendora native at his first big league spring camp.
Now, with another full year of minor league experience under his belt, the right-handed hitting Peters is back on the major league side of camp again, and he’s already impressing onlookers just three games into his 2019 Cactus League campaign.
On Sunday against the Angels, it was a trio of prospects who stole the show in the seventh inning. Shortstop Omar Estevez led off with a home run, followed by a shot off the bat of first baseman Matt Beaty. In the next AB, Peters joined in on the party to complete the trifecta, give the Dodgers back-to-back-to-back long balls and a three-run lead.
The barrage came two innings after Peters hit his first bomb of the game in the fifth inning.
He didn’t manage a base-hit in Monday’s contest against the Cubs, but he was able to flaunt some of his defensive tools by throwing out a runner from the plate from center field.
While it seems that Peters has been in the system forever, he’s still just 23 years old, as he was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of Western Nevada College.
Later that year, he began showcasing his many tools almost immediately during his days with the Raptors in Ogden, where he posted an impressive slash line of .351/.437/.615 with 24 doubles and 13 home runs over 302 plate appearances.
Seemingly, Peters has racked up almost every possible offensive award in the minors. He was named Player of the Week six times across three levels, he garnered about a dozen All-Star nods, and he was even named the Cal League Player of the Year in 2017. Like his teammate Alex Verdugo, Peters can handle all three outfield spots, and despite his 6-foot-6 frame, his speed is deceptive, giving him exceptional range on defense while making him a threat on the bases. Last year, he slugged 29 homers and 23 doubles.
According to Baseball America, he’s currently ranked as the tenth-best prospect in the entire organization.
We took a detailed look at Peters back in March of 2017.
In recent seasons, many pundits have criticized Peters for his lack of contact at the plate; however, he began addressing the issue over the winter. Roberts said that Peters has shortened his swing after working with the new hitting coaches during the offseason. The hope is that his new swing gives him a better chance against velocity and pitches inside that he struggled with last season.
Time will certainly tell, but it already appears as if his efforts are paying dividends.