The 2013 amateur draft will be held from June 6-8 this year, and between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Dustin Peterson | SS
Peterson attends Gilbert High School in the Phoenix suburbs, and he has his brother D.J. to thank for his prospect stock. D.J. will come out of New Mexico as a fringe first rounder this year after going undrafted in 2010, leading a lot of teams to believe they dropped the ball while scouting him in high school. That has led to Dustin getting a lot of extra attention this spring. He is committed to Arizona State and played very well in front of scouts this spring.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 180 lbs., Peterson’s best tool is his sweet right-handed swing and high-end bat speed. He’s very quick to the ball and he uses his lower half well, generating above-average power in addition to the ability to hit for average. Peterson has no trouble against good fastballs and he recognizes offspeed stuff well.
The bat isn’t much of a question, but his long-term position is. Peterson is a good athlete but he lacks the first step quickness needed to play shortstop long-term. His hands are fine but his arm isn’t anything special, making second base a more likely destination than third. The outfield could also be a possibility. Peterson is just an okay runner who won’t steal many bases. He’s not a bat-only prospect, but he is bat-first. I can’t find any video — there’s another kid named Dustin Peterson with a bunch of YouTube clips, but it’s not this Dustin Peterson.
Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America ranked Peterson as the 36th and 61st best draft prospect in their latest draft rankings, respectively, so there’s a pretty big split of opinions. Dustin is more advanced than his brother was at this age, and there’s a chance D.J. will be a top-15 pick in a few weeks. If a team thinks Dustin can remain at shortstop, he could go in the back-half of the first round. If not — and I’m guessing at least one of the 30 teams thinks he can play short long-ish term — he might be more of a second round guy. The Yankees have three first rounders (26th, 32nd, 33rd) and they love up-the-middle athletes, especially when they can hit. Peterson is right up their alley.