Every Friday we will be doing a profile and analysis of a farmhand on our team. We will look at their background, the kinds of future projections scouts generally have about them, associated risk with them booming or busting, and then our personal take on what they will most likely become as a ball player. We will do one a week up until pitchers and catchers report, and will be counting down our top ten prospects (more or less who I see to be our top ten).
Today we are covering our #8 prospect DJ Peters, aka the Hometown Kid.
- Name: DJ Peters
- DOB/Age: December 12, 1995 – 22 years old
- Height/Weight: 6’6″/225lbs
- Home State/Country: California
- Highest Level Reached: High-A
- On the 40-Man Roster: No
- ETA: 2020
Other Notable Rankings
- Baseball America: #8
- Baseball Prospectus: N/A
- MLB.com: #17
- TrueBlueLA: #9
- Dodgers Digest: #18 (mid-season)
(1-10, with 1 being very low, and 10 being very high)
7 – While Peters isn’t as risky as some other prospects on this list, he certainly isn’t without risk concerns. He has potentially great upside, but it appears to be a 50/50 shot he will reach that full potential at this juncture.
DJ Peters was the Dodgers’ 4th round pick (132 overall) in the 2016 draft out of Western Nevada Community College. He had actually been drafted twice before – once by the Cubs out of high school and then by the Rangers a year later. He signed for $250,000 with the Dodgers – fortunately. Born in Glendora, CA the first thing that stands out is his size. At 6’6″ he is hard to miss. Combine that with long hair that reminds many of Jayson Werth, and you’d think you are indeed looking at a younger version of Werth. I mean, when you hit two home runs off of a rehabbing Madison Bumgarner, you are bound to gain some Dodger fame.
Scouts love his frame, and he has sneaky speed that allows him to play any OF position competently, but he will likely fit into RF as his arm is very strong and he won’t need as much speed there. Obviously with a frame like his you’d expect power to be there, and indeed it is. The one knock you could have against him is that he is striking out at a rather high rate so far in the minors. But he also is taking walks in fairly large quantities, so it does not appear to be an issue regarding pitch recognition.
He has so far put up a rather impressive triple slash in the minors: .302/.394/.548, but a lot of that is due to his really impressive debut in 2016. His line in 2017 was nothing to sneeze at though: 132 Games, .276/.372/.514 with 27 home runs. The power is clearly there, but the strikeouts (32.2% in 2017) are a slight bit concerning. He still takes plenty of walks (10.9% in 2017) so, like I said, there isn’t a great deal of concern over pitch recognition. He also makes tons of hard contact as evidenced by the 61 extra base hits and .276 batting average.
His arm and defense both have above average potential, with his arm ranking as one of the better outfield arms in the system. He played the entire season at High-A in 2017, which was a slight bit unexpected. Many thought he had earned a promotion to AA. But that will likely come in 2018 either right away or half-way through the season.
It is also a great thing to know DJ Peters grew up a Dodger fan. With players like him that want to play for the Dodgers, it can only help going forward. He clearly has a passion not just for baseball, but for the Dodgers. And that passion many times breeds success, and if he is successful, he could easily become a fan favorite.
What does the future hold for Peters? His ceiling, and his primary comp, is that of a in-his-prime Jayson Werth. That combo of solid defense, well above average power, plate patience, and decent contact would certainly be a great ceiling to attain. He has the physical tools, it’s just a matter of overcoming his swing and miss elements to his game. The floor is most likely that of a AAAA player that has enticing power potential but can’t quite hit at the Major League level enough to justify a roster spot. Because his defense isn’t anything to write home about, along with his speed, that floor is quite a realistic one.
So far with Santana and Smith we have players with realistically fairly high floors. Peters is the first player on this list that has a floor where he barely gets a taste of the Majors. But his ceiling is definitely high enough to rank him in the top 10 prospects of this team. If he can continue to translate his power, patience, and hit for a decent average at AA, he definitely will jump into many other top 10 lists for this team, and will further solidify his place on mine.
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