Jace Peterson was a first round pick in 2011 after being a two sport star at McNeese State, but he has really shined on the diamond since being drafted. Peterson has seen an improvement in all three sections of his triple slash line each year in the system except in slugging thus far this year.
After being assigned to Double-A coming out of Spring Training, it seemed he would spend the majority of the year in the minor leagues, with a shot of getting the call to the bigs in September. Instead, with Chase Headly headed to the DL, Peterson will get his first game as a Major Leaguer with the San Diego Padres against the Washington Nationals Friday night.
Alexi Amarista is scheduled to get the start at third base, and Peterson’s natural position is shortstop, but it is unlikely for Peterson to merely be a bench option for long, as he can use the plate appearances. He has a good approach at the plate, with a minor league career OBP of .376, but he has just 83 plate appearances above High-A, all coming this season at Double-A.
Peterson has the defensive chops to stick at short, and while he doesn’t have the arm of a prototypical third baseman, he could probably fill in there just fine. He is not particularly fast, but he shows his baseball IQ when on the bases as he has been successful on nearly 80% of his steal attempts in the minors.
He does not have home run power, but his slap hitting line drive approach should allow him to put up a decent number of doubles and a few triples. If he reaches his ceiling, he could become an average starting shortstop, but he should be a solid utility infielder even if he doesn’t reach his ceiling.
When I saw him this spring, he was not all that impressive, given he does not have a single carrying tool, but he is a fun ballplayer to watch as he is a scappy ballplayer. While none of his skills register as much more than average, all his tools besides power are fringe-average to average, making him a solid all-around ballplayer.