Sure enough, the Mariners selected one of those players on Thursday night, taking University of New Mexico third baseman D.J. Peterson with the 12th overall pick. The Mariners had previously selected D.J. Peterson in the 33rd Round of the 2009 MLB draft, but were unable to sign him.
After the pick, Mariner bloggers and writers blew up on Twitter, offering praise for the Mariners' selection. A few of those comments had some rather lofty comparisons:
Now comparing a Mariners pick to all-time great Edgar Martinez is pretty much as lofty as it gets in the Pacific Northwest and may bring some unnecessary pressure to the powerful infielder, but that is a story for another day. All that can be done now is analyzing what Peterson did in his time at New Mexico, and where he projects moving forward.
Over his career at New Mexico, Peterson was able to accomplish a lot, including winning the Mountain West Conference's batting Triple Crown in 2012. In 2013, Peterson helped lead the Lobos' powerful offense to the NCAA tournament with a .411/.525/.823 slash line, 18 homers, 24 doubles and 70 RBI.
In Baseball America's preview of the Fullerton Region in College World Series qualifying, writer Aaron Fitt described Peterson as being the nation's "best pure hitter and an elite power threat."
The biggest concerns about Peterson come with his glove, as he may be looking at a shift to first base before he makes it to Seattle. Peterson, on the other hand, made his defensive preference clear after interviewing with MLB Network after being selected:
D.J. Peterson says on MLB Network he's a third baseman and will play third until #Mariners move him. Some see him as first baseman.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) June 7, 2013
Peterson is the definition of a "have bat, will travel" type player, and whether it is at first base, third base or designated hitter, will find any way possible to work his way into a starting lineup.
Either way, the selection of Peterson is pleasant news for Mariners fans, who have been desperate for the team to find any means necessary to improve an offense that has struggled for the last decade. With the addition of one of the best bats available in the 2013 draft, general manager Jack Zduriencik and the Mariners' front office have done just that.
So what do you think about the Mariners' selection of D.J. Peterson?