For those following top Dodgers prospects over the last handful of seasons, it’s been payoff after payoff for the player development staff. Cody Bellinger is a bonafide star, Will Smith has made his presence known as one of the top slugging catchers in the league. Walker Buehler is a consensus shoo-in for an NL Cy Young award sooner or later. And you can even go as far back as Corey Seager who ho-hum just earned NLCS and World Series MVP honors last October.
Plus, of course, the next crop of the seemingly bottomless well of Dodger prospects is pounding on the door for key roles in 2021 — Gavin Lux, Josiah Gray, and Keibert Ruiz to name a few.
Through all those guys, however, there’s a name that fans have heard for several seasons now who has yet to even get a cup of coffee in the show. Top outfield prospect DJ Peters. On Saturday, Dave Roberts shared his thoughts on the slugger, who he feels is in a good place mentally and mechanically heading into spring games this season.
I hope we get a chance to see DJ make his debut this year. I think with DJ, the care, the love of the Dodgers — you can’t debate his work ethic. His ability to play all three [positions] in the outfield very good, very consistent. And I think now in the batter’s box — the power’s never been in question — it’s just a matter of the consistent contact. Because if he can touch it, it’s gonna go, it’s gonna be hit hard somewhere.
The 6’6″ right-handed slugger who was part of LA’s huge draft class in 2016 has put up big power numbers over his 4 minor league seasons with the club. But his bat-to-ball skills have played a big role in his long road to the bigs.
Peters has a ton of natural talent and needs repetitions. He has had some issues with contact but I am hoping his hard work pays off. The Dodgers are in need of right-handed power at the plate and Peters has that market cornered.
Beyond contact issues, the Dodgers’ often crowded outfield mix has played an added role in keeping Peters in the minor leagues. But now with Joc Pederson in Chicago and Enrique Hernandez in Boston, 2021 could be as great a chance as ever to see DJ in LA.
Importantly, fans will get a chance to see the prospect immediately as Roberts added on Saturday that Peters would be starting in center field for each of the club’s first two Cactus League games while Cody Bellinger continues his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.
Catch DJ and the Dodgers as they visit the Oakland A’s in Mesa, Arizona. First pitch is set for 12:05 PM PT on SportsNet LA and am570 LA Sports.