Advanced college hitter. Top prospect. Exactly what anyone wants to hear that plays in a dynasty format.
With news that the 12th overall pick in 2013, D.J. Peterson (2014 preseason prospect rankings of 85th, 88th and 65th by Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus, respectively) has been promoted to AA Jackson, we figured now is a good time to profile him for Dynasty and Keeper League owners.
Peterson debuted with a strong showing in 2013 after being drafted last June. In 230 plate appearces he hit .303/.365/.553 while hitting 13 hrs while splitting time between Low-A, Everett and Class A, Clinton. To no one’s surprise, to start 2014 Peterson earned the promotion to high-A with High Desert. What did surprise many though was the fact that he got off to a slow start posting a very modest slash line of: .269/.313/.410 in April. This led many to question just how advanced D.J. was after being selected out of New Mexico last season. After all, he was supposed to move quick and was supposed to be very advanced. Well, D.J. certainly silenced any critics by what he proceeded to do since April was over and we all flipped the calendar to May. Since the end of April, his numbers are truly staggering as he has hit .349 with 16 HR and 61 RBI’s while chipping in with a modest 5 stolen bases – earning him a promotion to AA Jackson. These numbers should not be downplayed….they are huge, by any standard set.
The question with Peterson isn’t if he can hit. It is whether or not he will be able to stick at 3B, or if he will ultimately have to make the move to first base or a corner OF spot. As a fantasy owner, you should not be too worried about this. Regardless of where he does end up, his bat is likely to play at any position, and in deep league Dynasty formats, I wouldn’t stress too much about whether he ends up as a 3B, OF or 1B. It looks like he can hit – and if he can continue to put up numbers, he will be an impact prospect, one ranked far higher in 2015 than he was coming into this season.
I expect him to finish the year in AA and start 2015 in AAA. If he continues to succeed, he could very well be up in the majors by the middle of next year. He was expected to move quick, and it seems like something has clicked with him recently – as seen with his drastic spike in his numbers across the board. We will be monitoring Peterson closely to see how he does with his first go-around at AA. Based on how he’s been swinging it the last seven weeks, if he can transition smoothly to AA and hit the ground running, he will fly up prospect rankings and lists across the entire industry. If he is available in your Dynasty format – grab him now. If he is owned, keep this in mind: Elite prospects often require a king's ransom to acquire via trade. With mid-season prospect rankings set to come out in the next month, he will certainly be ranked much, much higher than he was coming into 2014. Now may be the last time you can get D.J. on the cheap.