Prospect Rankings: No. 2 — D.J. Peterson

 The Seattle Mariners’ farm system has taken a hit the last couple of years with the graduations of the likes of Mike Zunino, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, Brad Miller and Chris Taylor, among others. Still, the organization boasts a solid collection of talent, despite the lack of pitching in the high minors.

The club has taken advantage of the strengths in the draft classes the past three years, adding right-handed hitting outfielders with power and more depth in the middle-infield. Seattle also has done fairly well internationally, even with the departure of Bob Engle and some of his scouts to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

A lot of the club’s top talents are more than a year or two from the big leagues, and many come with a high risk to go with the exciting upside.

Here’s an update on the Top 10 Countdown:

10. Tyler Marlette, C | Analysis
9. Luiz Gohara, LHP | Analysis
8. Tyler O’Neill, OF | Analysis
7. Edwin Diaz, RHP | Analysis
6. Ketel Marte, SS | Analysis
5. Gabriel Guerrero, OF | Analysis
4. Austin Wilson, OF | Analysis
3. Patrick Kivlehan, OF | Analysis

No. 2 — D.J. Peterson, 1B/3B
HIT POWER RANGE ARM RUN OFP
45/55 50/60 45/45 60/60 40/40 52.5

Despite future value in the field and on the bases that likely ends up average at best, Peterson remains a potential high-impact player because the raw power to hit 25-plus home runs has developed into game power that may prove to be big league ready as early as this season.

Peterson’s power comes naturally, with a simple swing that generates loft on the ball and coupled with his ability to cover the plate he should hit for plenty of average to support the pop. There’s not much load involved, either, which may help Peterson stay away from dropping his hands and creating a loop in his swing.

Peterson has played third base to passable levels at times, but he lacks the lateral range and reactions to play the position long term in the majors. He’s seen time at first base in his pro career already, and the ratio may swing heavily to the first base side in 2015 in preparation for the former first-round pick to take over regularly at some point in 2016. He does have a plus throwing arm.

Peterson works hard at his craft despite having a lot of natural ability in terms of putting the barrel on the baseball. In a day and age when .270 is the new .300, Peterson may end up a fringe all-star bat at first base if he maxes out his tools, and he’s getting close. He’s starting the 2015 season in Double-A Jackson, but don’t be surprised if he sees the Pacific Coast League by July. A September call-up isn’t likely, but it’s not out of the question, either.

Peterson’s Career Statistics

MLB ETA: 2016

MLB Comps: Paul Konerko, Mike Sweeney, Todd Zeile

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Jason A. Churchill

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