The Los Angeles Dodgers slugging outfield prospect, DJ Peters is one of the more humble players in a system loaded with great character men. The eighth-ranked prospect in the Dodgers organization, according to MLB Pipeline, the pride of Glendora High is not only smashing baseballs but is also winning hearts. Whether its a young fan in the stands, who catches a ball tossed from the 6′ 6″ centerfielder to family photos and autographs postgame, Peters is always giving. The 22-year-old slugger is also charitable with redistributing baseballs in the stands, he currently leads the Texas League in home runs with 23.
Selected by Los Angeles in the fourth round of the 2016 Amateur Draft from Western Nevada College, Peters had been drafted (36th round both years) but did not sign the two years prior with the Cubs and Rangers respectively. Peters became a champion quickly as a professional, at the end of 2016 with the Great Lakes Loons in the Midwest League.
DJ was the Cal League MVP in the 2017 campaign and did so in impressive fashion. Peters racked up 27 home runs along with 82 RBI. After the season in Rancho, Peters was promoted to Double-A Tulsa for the 2017 playoffs. The Drillers fell a bit short, but more experience was gained. The Dodgers then had their prospect compete in the talent-rich, Arizona Fall League.
Don’t Forget Defense
Everyone loves the offensive numbers, but DJ Peters is committed to his game in all aspects. “Defense is just as important to me as my swing and what I do in the (batter’s)box. Offense and defense go hand in hand in my book.” Peters continued, “I want to be a complete player who can do it all. With that being said, I have to be just as good in the outfield, as I am in the box, especially with me playing centerfield.” Reminiscent of a linebacker, because of his 6′ 6″ and 225-pound frame, he roams centerfield with speed and grace. Most of his games with Tulsa have been in centerfield (76), with a handful in left (4) as well as playing right (25) field. He has five outfield assists in 2018.
— Tulsa Drillers (@TulsaDrillers) August 5, 2018
At Rancho Cucamonga in 2017, the duo of Will Smith and Peters combined for lots of offense production and were inseparable off-field. The two contemporaries spent most of this season together in Tulsa until Smith’s recent promotion. When asked about his pal, Peters replied, “I am extremely happy and excited for Will and his promotion to AAA. He deserves it and I know he will absolutely kill it.” Of course, I miss him, he is my best friend, but at the same time, I know this is what’s best for him, which makes me happy. We talk a lot and I am grateful to have him in my corner.”
#Dodgers prospects DJ Peters (No. 6) and Will Smith (No. 9) each went deep in the 7th inning for @TulsaDrillers:
🔥 Peters: has homered in three straight games
🔥 Smith: has homered five times in nine games
A look at how all @Dodgers prospects are faring: https://t.co/XTfeoY9ag0 pic.twitter.com/nkz2bZpSAv
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 5, 2018
Minor league baseball players have demanding schedules. Countless hours of travel and baseball activities leave little time for fan interaction. Yet, Peters is always putting that valuable extra time, towards the fans, why? “I’ll go that extra mile because when I was a kid, I would want somebody to stop for me to sign my ball or to take a picture with me. I put myself in their shoes. It’s all about the fans and I want to make people smile.” DJ added, “If me stopping to sign their stuff or to take a picture makes their day, then it’s a win in my book.”
🔥 DJ Peters 🔥
The #Dodgers No. 8 prospect homered for a second straight game in a 4-for-5 performance for the @TulsaDrillers tonight. The 22-year-old OF has hit 22 home runs through 108 games this season. Here’s how @Dodgers prospects are performing: https://t.co/XXKtmTyrMm pic.twitter.com/t3UT9yxrxB
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 6, 2018
Hair, Humor and Homer’s
Peters and his long flowing locks can make fans smile with his clutch hitting and stellar defense, as well as with his glowing personality. Recently the Drillers centerfielder added to his pre-game routine, I asked DJ about his hobby. “Haha, I just picked up the camera and wanted to have a little fun before the game started. To me, it’s key to stay loose and relaxed, picking up the camera and taking a couple of pictures did just that, and not just for me, but my teammates as well.” Peters added, “It’s always good to have a good little laugh.”
What if DJ Peters had never played the game of baseball, what would he be doing in life? Peters explained, “If I was not playing baseball I would probably be a police officer or something along those lines. Growing up I always wanted to be a baseball player and a cop.”
Photographer by day, drops dingers by night. pic.twitter.com/TAzSWksDS8
— Tulsa Drillers (@TulsaDrillers) August 6, 2018
The season is long, filled with ups and downs and long road trips. I asked the Dodgers prospect about his perspective of his year so far, and if he was happy with it? Peters said, “Yes, I am. High A to AA is a big jump, especially at the age of 22 and for it being only my second full season. Of course, it comes with more challenges and more struggles, which I love. I embrace those challenges and struggles and try to conquer them every single night. It’s baseball, things are not going to go my way all the time or every night, but at the end of the day if I can look myself in the mirror, knowing I gave it everything I had that day, then it’s a victory in my book. I take great pride in playing the game hard and with respect while respecting my teammates/coaches and those I am competing against.”
DJ Dingers with a no-doubter! DJ Peters knocks his Texas League Leading 21st homer in the 4th and the Drillers lead 1-0! pic.twitter.com/4eFnRfCr9n
— Tulsa Drillers (@TulsaDrillers) August 5, 2018
Peters had spoken prior to this season about having his body in shape for the long haul of a season. I asked him how he is feeling here in early August, with most of the minor league schedule behind us. “My health is good. It’s a long season and I know I have played a lot of games this season, which I love, I wouldn’t want it any other way. My body is feeling great. I feel great!” Peters proclaimed.
Dodger fans have been collectively holding their breath around the trade deadline over a few prospects that they fear being dealt. DJ Peters is one of those prospects. Even in a crowded outfield organizationally, Peters power and patient approach at the plate should be on display in Dodger Blue in the near future.
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