Dodgers Prospect Watch: DJ Peters Continues to Impress

Peters

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.

During camp in 2018, there was one particular player—outfielder DJ Peters—who drew praise from all directions, including big league skipper Dave Roberts and veteran third baseman Justin Turner.

“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.

 

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41 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: DJ Peters Continues to Impress

  1. Well so much for Arrenado hitting the market next year. He’s staying in Colorado for 8 years $260 million. That really throws a wrench into Friedman’s plans I presume. Damn I was hoping we would get a shot at him. He’s got a player opt out after the 21’ season though.

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      1. If you’ll notice, Dennis put a smiley face after that comment. When putting down the lineups for game 1, Dennis confused Daniel Castro (AAA depth) with Starling Heredia (one of our prospects) and came up with Starlin Castro whom, as you correctly stated, plays for the Marlins.

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  2. Is Castro a relative of yours Dennis? 😍 Can he hit enough to make it? Love the potential of Peters. If he can put the ball in play he could be big time

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    1. Big if. He will have to hit some Bunyan like shots at OKC before he’s going to play in LA. Yeah, I said OKC. I don’t send him back to AA. He may start there as the AAA looks full, but he won’t finish there. He’s 24. Almost as old as Harper. When Trout was 24 he already had about 150 home runs. If this guy can hit ML pitching we need to know.

      Our outfield situation remains the same as it has been for quite awhile – we got buku range rovers out there. I count 7, 8 if we count Muncy , which I don’t. Let’s make some moves. Outfielders for pitchers.

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    1. Kluber for the time being is not going anywhere. He was pulled off the market quite a while ago. If he gets traded at all, it will not be until the deadline.

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      1. If they leave it to Dodger fans it definitely won’t be 34. Gonna be a moot point anyway. Boras is giving Harper the “you gotta take the highest money offer to help future generations of ballplayers” speech. Actually it’s the same speech Grandal gave to the press after he screwed up his free agency negotiations.

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      2. I read they had a pretty heated argument. Harper’s missus does not like Philly. Also a story circulating that Giants ownership is not adverse to a long term high dollar deal, but Zaidi is. I find that rather humorous. I feel that signing Harper is akin to the Lakers signing James. High dollar, minimum return.

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      3. Except that the front office and ownership were all in agreement on LBJ. If ownership forces Farhan to sign Harper to a long term deal he should walk out immediately, assuming he was against it. He won’t have a problem finding another job and that would be a very bad way to start that relationship. If they won’t let him call the shots he should leave. Ironic though, it’s usually the GM who wants to spend the money and ownership who says no. I guess something similar has also happened to Rizzo in Washington a couple of times.

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      4. He has been around two of the most analytical team heads there are in Beane and Friedman. He is also one of the more analytical FO guys. They supposedly hired him because of that. Wonder how much Bochy would love to have Harper for his last year. Giant fans would love it simply if it throws a wrench in LA’s plans. But if Harper signs with the Dodgers and becomes an epic fail, it is just more fodder for the rivalry.

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  3. First off, it was BJ and the Bear, and I am not moving to the Mistake by the Lake….so you can forget including me. There is a story floating that Harper had a huge argument with Boras. His wife wants to be in LA. But the most money is in Philly. Dodgers supposedly not budging from short term higher AAV deal. Arenado deal has an opt out after 3 years. AAV is 32.2 mil a year for him.

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    1. But the R&R Hall of Fame is there Bear. We’ll make sure you sing the National Anthem twice a year and get a lifetime pass to the Hall. So unless you have 10-5 rights, and in your case you may have 50 and 25 rights, you go where you’re traded. If I can get Kluber for you – you know I gotta do it. DJ and the Bear. It does have a ring to it. And I’ve been to Cañon City. Get out while you can.

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      1. I will pull a Jackie Robinson on you and RETIRE…….I have been to the Mistake by the Lake, and I am into country, not rock and roll….trade me to Nashville and I might go. Canon is better than Cleveland, trust me.

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      2. Yeah, I believe you. My only time in Cleveland was Spring of ‘72, coming in from the east you could smell the city 30 miles out. It was horrible. But I hear they’ve cleaned it up. I’ll check with Nashville, but I don’t think they have any pitching we could use.

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    1. Holmes started that mess. Spitzbarth just made it worse. I did not expect the kids to pitch that great anyway. But Allie was impressive…

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    2. I remember noticing Spitzbarth a couple years ago and he looked really good, but I’m afraid he’ll never see the Dodger 25 man roster. Just too inconsistent over the past couple of years. Don’t tell anyone but Yimi is looking very sharp so far this spring. One inning today, 3 up – 3 down – 3 k’s, after a scoreless inning the other day.

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      1. He is doing what we all said he needed to do in order to be on the 25 man come the end of spring. He is going to have to force their hand. But with some of those other relievers still having options, it will not be that difficult a decision if he is lights out this spring.

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  4. Rich, I think the Harper stuff has to settle up before we can figure out a trade for pitching. You guys had me finally over a Harper deal, and then all of this had to happen, I can’t wait for this to be over, in or out I don’t care anymore, let’s just play ball.

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  5. It has been 120 days since Harper declared his free agency. Enough already. Just sign somewhere, and i do not care where he signs. Have inappropriate relations with a Taco shell for all I care. I am tired of hearing his stupid name. He is not the second coming of Babe Ruth, hell he is no Joe DiMaggio either. He is a mediocre outfielder who isn’t even in the top 5 in slugging the last 5 years. He is a bad team mate by all accounts and has an ego bigger than Ethel Merman’s mouth. He is represented by one of the most ego driven agents in the business. Why in the world would anyone want this guy on their team. Doe’s his presence alone guarantee the Dodgers go beck to the World Series? Nope, can he pitch? Nope, because that is where the biggest need is right now. Just get the whole circus over with.

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    1. Pretty much agreed on all counts. I worry about his effect on younger, less secure players, if they are out there busting their butts trying to make their mark in MLB and Harper is not running out grounders and not getting under catchable flies. Whatever team he is on, the Papelbon response to Harper could play out again. Justifiably. With his probable salary, the expectations on him are going to be large and constant. Every reporter will be looking for discontent and stoking it.

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  6. I just read autocrats own our think tanks. I was hoping for free think. Too much to ask I guess.

    Is Harper a Dodger yet? I too am finding it difficult to much give a sh*t at this point. Another $30+ million for another egomaniacal baseball player who doesn’t work at his craft. Puig with better hair at quadruple the cost. Where does this end? Probably with another loss in the last game of the year.

    I got labs this morning. NPO. I’m cranky.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well it is Wednesday morning and Harper is not a Dodger yet. But that has not stopped all the chatter. Jeff Passan for some reason has had his twitter account suspended….not 10 minutes after he announced that the Dodgers and Harper had reached a 10 year deal for 335 million with an op out after 3. I myself think there is no substance to this because A. No Dodger FO people are still in Vegas to negotiate such a deal, including Ol Andy, who is safe and sound in Glendale, and B. Since I am pretty sure Heyman or Rosenthal would be all over a story that big. I made my feelings clear in my previous post. But lets play a little game here. First, in order to sign Harper, the Dodgers need a roster spot. Who gets dumped? Also, quite a few people have said that if they sign Harper it opens up them being able to trade both Verdugo and Pederson for pitching. Question: How many of you remember a star player being traded during spring training? I cannot remember a single trade taking place this early in the year involving a star player. Most teams after spring has started prefer to wait until the deadline. There is good news out of camp. Seager is now doing hitting drills and getting ready for at bats in games and supposedly he looked really good. Lets just hope the Harper circus ends real soon. Myself, I think they would be better served signing Kuechel. The offense is not the problem right now.

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  8. Good news. Urias gets the start vs the A’s today….bad news….it is not on TV. A’s got their butts handed to them by the Angels yesterday, a game I watched. Poor Sborz. Gets the loss in a game where the offense went to sleep and the bullpen was a gas station. Spitzbarth and Holmes gave up 7 in the 8th, and Sborz got the loss…..personally I think in spring games those kinds of stats are really worthless.

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    1. These games is pretty much meaningless.

      Most teams might prefer to wait but no doubt some teams would like to start the season with a better lineup than they have now. Pederson is a proven .800 OPS guy that doesn’t cost much. And if the team does decide to move Verdugo, phone calls will be answered.

      Chris Hedges is calling for a non violent Extinct Rebellion. I might be ready to join after my latte later.

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  9. A couple of other early morning notes. MLB and the MLBPA are still talking about some changes MLB wants to institute. They are willing to back off on the timed pitch clock until 2022 when the next CBT is negotiated in exchange for a few other things. 3 batter minimum for relief pitchers. Roster would expand to 26 next year with a 13 pitcher maximum. 28 player roster in September with a 14 pitcher maximum. Reduction of the visits to the mound from 6 to 5. And a few others I cannot remember off the top of my head…..They have entered into an agreement with one of the independent leagues to use them over the next 3 years as a testing ground for new rules and possibly the electronic strike zone. Old friend Trevor Oaks, who is now a Royal looks like he is going to be out for the year with hip surgery.

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  10. I’ve seen a number of interviews with Roberts over the past week and he just doesn’t seem like the normal upbeat Doc. Does he know already that he won’t have Kersh this year? Does he know he’s getting Harper and doesn’t want him? Does he know he isn’t getting Harper and really wants him? Does he know Seager isn’t doing as well as they are saying he is? Is something wrong with Kenley (hasn’t pitched in a game yet)? Or maybe it’s something personal. All I know is it doesn’t seem like the Roberts I’m used to seeing, the guy who is always smiling.

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  11. Yimi got spin. And he can put it into a coffee cup from 60’.

    These early days are interesting to watch but I don’t put any importance in them. We are seeing a lot of guys out there with linemen numbers on their back. We don’t need to see Jansen for another week. It’s February. It’s below zero in Wisconsin. I still have snow in my yard and I live in Arizona. I see no need to pay attention til after my birthday. In March. Send cards through Dennis and money to my Go Fund Me page.

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