2013 Draft: Dustin Peterson

Thoughts on the off-day
RAB Live Chat

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.

(Photo via AzDiamondReport.com)
(Photo via AzDiamondReport.com)

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.

Scouting Report
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.

Thoughts on the off-day
RAB Live Chat
  • JCK

    “… he lacks the first step quickness needed to play shortstop long-term.”

    I see this type of thing said a lot, but can someone explain it to me? The area a SS has to cover is the same as 2B, right (identical dimensions on both sides of the infield)? It may even be less total area to cover, since 3B has to play close to the bag less often than 1B (who has to hold runners on more frequently). It should also be the same distance from home plate as SS (i.e., same reaction time on batted balls).

    I understand a SS needs a stronger arm than than 2B, but why would he need more quickness or range?

    I think in terms of defensive chances, it’s pretty even these days, with possibly a slight edge to 2B. With a more difficult DP turn, the necessity of covering 1B and a potentially more difficult play covering on a stolen base, why is SS considered harder to play than 2B?

    I’m sure there are plenty of good reasons, I just can’t figure them out and can’t seem to find anything definitively explained on the Internet.

    • The Doctor

      Total guess here, but part of it might be that you have to get to the ball quicker and get set to make the longer throw, whereas with second base you can pretty much pick it up and make the short throw moving. Just thinking of how many times a ball is weakly hit to second and they just casually stroll over, pick it up, and go to first. At short, even on weakly hit ground balls they really get there early, get set, and make the long throw.

      Then again this could be a complete anecdotal misconception from watching Jeter and Cano for so long.

      • jjyank

        I think there’s some merit to that logic, sure. It makes sense that you’d need to get to the ball quicker to make a longer throw.

        Another reason might be the simple fact that there are more RHB than there are LHP. While it’s true a 1B has to play closer to the bag with a runner on first than a 3B would, I would imagine that when there are no runners on and a RHB at the plate, the 3B will play closer to the line than the 1B, meaning the SS has a bit more ground to cover.

        Just a thought.

        • JCK

          That’s a good point. Though when I looked at total defensive chances by position, it looked like 2B actually got more than SS (so the maybe the RHB/LHB split is less now than in the past as teams more consciously try to build balanced orders?).

          Of course, I couldn’t figure out how to check that league-wide by position, so I was just looking by team on Baseball-Reference, and only at a handful of a teams… so my numbers were anecdotal at best. ;_

      • JCK

        That makes sense.

        But that’d be more about the player’s ability to get rid of the ball quickly. That is, you have to get rid of the ball more quickly at SS because the throw is longer (arm strength might mitigate that somewhat, though.)

        Their “first step quickness,” as Mike said, would imply something about fielding the ball off the bat. But, I keep thinking that total coverage area and distance from plate to fielder is about the same for both positions, which is what has me confused.

    • Mike

      It isn’t that they need more quickness or range for SS, it is that the total number of balls hit to them are much lower, so the negative impact of smaller range at second base is lessened.

  • Wayne

    Michael sharwyn is he a posibility for the yankees he is suppose to be the best pitcher in new jersey outside of kaminsky. Where is he projected to go?

  • Wayne

    Will Jacob Brentz be a tough sign? I see him as the ideal lefthander to draft out of high school rather than rob kaminsky.

  • Wayne

    Evan anderson lefthanded pitcher from oklahoma is the best left handed high school pitcher in this draft so far. I stand corrected. I also like joe alexander Jiménez from Puerto Rico. Mike where is evan anderson projected to go this guy has a chance to be dominant like a colé hamels. if we were going college with pitching Adam Plutko i would look at also and Scott frazier i like how far out in front he gets with such a long body. He has enough control for me. And i can’t stress Kyle Richter enough from USC he is the hidden gem in this draft. Kyle Richter is going to be the best starting pitcher to come out of this draft and the most dominant pitcher in quite sometime. Yankee scouts pay attention to Kyle Richter please! You heard me Damon, please draft this guy!!!

  • Wayne

    Joe Alexander Jiménez remienda me physically and delivery wise to José Fernández.

  • Wayne

    Is peterson athletic enough to play outfield?

  • Kevin

    Hey everyone,

    I’m going to come right out and say that this is my brother. So yes, I most certainly am biased. I coach varsity baseball for a high school in Albany though, so please don’t think I’m completely clueless.
    Dan Hetzel… He plays Center Field for Sachem East (probably projects to a corner spot eventually), and has committed to a full ride from the University of Rhode Island. He did participate in private workouts for a few MLB teams (Yankees, Rays, Phillies, Pirates, Blue Jays, Tigers). The scouts are always at his games. He’s a big, strong, great character kid who eats, sleeps and drinks baseball. Power arm, big bat. MSG Varsity did a piece on him on their website this year as well. He had a huge year… hitting 5 home-runs in 6 games to end the season. He’s a lock for Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and most likely league MVP. He could be a late round steal for the bombers. Just check out some of his stats from the year…

    ***I hope this post wasn’t obnoxious, I’m just really proud of him and think the Yankees at least have a bit of interest in him***