mariners

Seattle Mariners 2013 draft profile: New Mexico Lobo’s D.J. Peterson

Jack selects…

With the 12th pick in the 2013 MLB draft, the Seattle Mariners select: D.J. Peterson, third baseman, University of New Mexico.

D.J. Peterson: H/W: 6’1, 205 LBS, B/T: R/R

Since taking over as Mariner’s GM in 2009, Jack-Z has spent all but one of his top picks on college players—the exception being Taijuan Walker in 2010.

So it was no surprise when Seattle kept to the script Thursday, drafting New Mexico’s D.J. Peterson. The M’s actually took a run at Peterson as a high-schooler in 2010, so it’s no surprise they made sure to nab him the second-time around.

How does this align with Seattle’s goals?

Seattle landed college baseball’s purest hitter in last year’s draft with Mike Zunino, and they may have just done the same thing this year.

Peterson’s mechanics are sound, and his development shouldn’t take long. If he signs quickly—like Zunino did last year—he could be seeing time in the Majors as early as next August/September.

The AL West is a division up for grabs, and with Seattle’s future rotation is pretty much built the team continues to look for answers in the lineup. With Peterson the M’s not only get a sound all-around hitter, but someone who can make a difference sooner than later.

Tools breakdown

Peterson is a pure hitter, with solid power potential, quick wrists and great bat speed. His best developed tool is his patience, as he already displays a mature command of the strike zone.

D.J. Peterson is officially on his way to the show (Photo: Eric Sorenson / College Baseball Today)

D.J. Peterson is officially on his way to the show (Photo: Eric Sorenson / College Baseball Today)

Sound familiar? That’s because it’s exactly what everyone was saying about Zunino just one year ago.

The junior finished his season batting .408/.520/.807 with more walks (46) than strikeouts (35). He had five stolen bases and 47 extra base hits (18 home runs) in 55 games played.

The biggest question mark right now is what position he’ll play at. Given his size, it’s doubtful he’ll be able to stay at third in the long-term. That’s not a big deal, since Seattle already has Kyle Seager manning the hot corner.

The most likely landing spot for Peterson is first base, which has been a bit of a rotating door for Seattle—unless you believe Justin Smoak is the long-term solution there.

Overall this is a solid pick, even if Peterson ends up moving to a less vital defensive position further down the line.

Where do we go from here?

With another first-round in the bag, Seattle continues to build it’s lineup. Jack-Z’s seen a lot of early success with these first-round bats, bringing in top prospects Mike Zunino, Nick Franklin and Dustin Ackley—his only one real disappointment.

The maturity of Peterson’s tools is very similar to what we saw from Zunino last year, which means Seattle could be seeing this pick pay off very soon.

If Peterson moves to first base it would finally give the M’s a player who could lock down the position for years to come.

He may not have the top-end power of other first baseman, but given his floor—arguably the highest of the draft—20 home run power seems like a given.

All-in-all this is another solid pick for Jack-Z and crew. Combined with the Zunino pick from last year Seattle has built it’s offensive core for the foreseeable future.

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