Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Get to Know 'Em: Brock Peterson
Good morning! A rough game for the Twins, Matt Garza and their fans. I have a few thoughts on that game as well as the minor league updates. If you missed it yesterday, be sure to check out the ESPN.com Sports Nation Faces of the Franchise series in which I participated. It's an interesting discussion. Here is a discussion thread I started over at the Dickie Thon Twins Forum on the topic.
Today, I'm going to talk about another Twins minor leaguers who is impressing. Brock Peterson is a guy whose name has become a little more known of late, but those of you who have come to the site for awhile know that he has certainly been on the radar screen for a couple of years.
Brock Peterson was drafted out of high school by the Twins in the 49th round of the 2002 baseball draft. Peterson was the 1,450th players taken in that draft. In a bit of irony, fellow Twins farm hand Jeff Christy was selected one pick ahead of him by the Dodgers. Of course, Christy didn't sign and went to the University of Nebraska and was the Twins 6th round pick in 2006. Peterson waited until September to sign, so his pro career began in 2003 in Elizabethton.
The 23 year old is a graduate of W.F. West High School in Centralia, Washington. That is the same high school that Ft. Myers lefty Kyle Aselton attended and graduated from one year earlier than Peterson. Aselton went to Oregon State for three years before the Twins took him in the 11th round of the 2004 draft. Peterson signed a contract and began his pro career. Back in January, I asked Twins Director of Scouting Mike Radcliff if he was surprised that Peterson signed and has done so well. He replied:
Our scout Bill Lohr had great confidence in Brock Peterson. He knew him well because he had been watching him since he was a sophomore in his hometown. When Bill convinced Brock and his family that signing a pro contract was a viable option, we were very excited to bring him into the organization. Bill had much conviction in Brocks projectability as a hitter. The patience and coaching from our development staff has paid off and now Brock is a legitimate offensive prospect in our system.
In 2003, Peterson started at Elizabethton. He was drafted as a 3B and played that position that year. Since then, he has primarily only played 1B. Right away that first year, he showed some power, hitting nine home runs. He moved up to Low-A Quad Cities in 2004 where he continued to show some power for the Swing.
In 2005, Peterson advanced another level to Ft. Myers of the Florida State League. He hit .250/.332/.401 with 22 doubles, three triples, 12 homers and 60 RBI. I thought that he showed enough in the second half of the season to move up to New Britain. But that is why I am a blogger and Radcliff and Jim Rantz make those kinds of decisions. Peterson stayed in Ft. Myers for the 2006 season and it paid off. He hit .291/.356/.497 with 22 doubles, three triples, 21 homers and 76 RBI. 21 homers in the pitching-strong FSL is quite impressive. He was now ready to move up to AA.
Heading into Monday night's game, he was hitting .289/.376/.488 with 18 doubles, three triples, 14 homers and 52 RBI in 93 games. In his previous seven games, he was 11-25 (.440) with a double, a triple and three home runs. He is a solid middle of the order hitter for the Rockcats.
At 6-3 and about 215 pounds, Brock Peterson is showing that he has the skill, power and patience to potentially be a big league hitter. He will turn 24 years old in the offseason, so he isn't young for the level, but he's not old by any means. One thing I like to look at is the strikeouts and walks of a minor league power hitter. He has always had a good eye, willing to take walks. Like most power hitters, he does strike out a little more than you'd like to see. This year, he is striking out about every 4.15 at bats which isn't horrible. However, you expect that as he moves up to AAA and potentially to the big leagues, that is a number that we will want to watch.
With that said though, Peterson has certainly done enough to qualify himself as a legitimate big league prospect. I think he can become a 25-30 home run, middle of the order type of hitter... with 120-140 strikeouts a year. Basically, I think that his ceiling would be the offensive equivalent of Michael Cuddyer. Worst case, we are looking at a guy with the career path of Garrett Jones. By that I mean that he could show some power at AAA and maybe get a few cups of coffee. That said, having a bench combo of Peterson and Jones would give the Twins bench a couple of powerful bats with a lot of strikeouts. Defensively, I have heard that his best position may be DH while other reports say that he is much improved.
Obviously 2008 is a big year for Garrett Jones. He has to stick with the Twins or likely be claimed by another team as he will be out of options. That opens up a spot at Rochester for Peterson, and I think that he is ready for that challenge. He could spend time at 1B and DH, likely splitting some time with Doug Deeds. Of course, this is all assuming that the Twins decide to put Peterson on their 40 man roster in the offseason. If Peterson stays with the organization and is put on the 40 man roster, I think that he could see some playing time with the Twins by July of 2008. More likely, I think he could be competing for some playing time in Spring Training 2009.
I would not be surprised if the Twins sent Peterson to the Arizona Fall League to see how he matches up against some of the best minor league prospects in the game. The evaluations of his skills there may determine whether the Twins give him a spot on the 40 man roster. In any case, I am certain that other organizations have begun to take notice as well.
A 49th round draft pick rarely gets to AA. I looked back at the drafts from 1977 through 2004 and over that time frame, 56 players drafted in the 49th round advanced to AA. The most was 1992 when eight 49th round picks advanced to at least AA. I have to point out that many of these 49th round picks did not sign at this time. For example, Placido Polanco was the 49th round pick of the Chicago White Sox in 1993. Then he went to a junior college and was drafted a year later, much higher, and signed. Polanco is one of 15 former 49th round picks to get to the big leagues. About half of those did not sign with the team that selected them at that time. (Jason Michaels, Casey Janssen, Alan Benes and Tim Laker are others) In other words, Brock Peterson has already overcome a lot of bad odds to get to AA. However, I would guess that he is not satisfied as of yet. Since he has made it this far, why not AAA? And once there, why not the big leagues? If he's looking for a team that will give him a chance if it is earned, he is certainly with the right organization. For me non-money, I wouldn't bet against Brock Peterson becoming a big league regular.
Any thoughts on Brock Peterson? Please e-mail me or leave Comments below.
Twins and their Minor League Updates
Here are the game reports of the Twins and their minor league affiliates.
Monday SethSpeaks Player of the Day Brandon Roberts, New Britain Rockcats
Monday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day Dan Berlind, GCL Twins
Monday - Twins 4, Mariners 9
Matt Garza had his first bad start of his big league season. He got the first two batters out in the first inning. Four hitters and two homers later, the Twins were down 4-0. A second Raul Ibanez homer and a Kenji Johjima two run shot in the third inning ended Garza's night. He gave up seven earned runs on nine hits (4 homers). I guess on a positive note, he didn't walk anyone.
The bright spot of the game had to be the performance of Carmen Cali. The lefty reliever went 3.2 shutout innings of relief.
Another huge positive was a 3-4 game from Justin Morneau. That includes two doubles. First, he hit the ball hard a couple of times. But it was also to see the continued hustle.
Joe Mauer continued to hit the Mariners. He went 2-4.
Over at mlbtraderumors.com, there is an interesting discussion about trading Johan Santana and what the team could get for him. Stick & Ball Guy posted a similar discussion.
Is Johan Santana slipping? It is an interesting question that Joe Christensen addresses well at his blog.
Monday - Red Wings, Scranton/Wilkes Barre Postponed by Rain.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Monday - Rockcats 2, New Hampshire 4 The Rockcats managed 13 hits but just two runs in the game. Garrett Guzman went 3-4 with his 19th double. Brandon Roberts was 3-4 with a walk. David Winfree was 2-4, and Matt Moses went 2-5. Trevor Plouffe knocked his 35th double. Yohan Pino dropped to 1-4. In 5.2 innings, he gave up four runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out four. Frank Mata struck out two in 1.1 innings. Jesse Floyd struck out one in his inning.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Monday - Miracle 2, Dunedin 8 Juan Portes remained hot. He went 2-3 with a walk and his fifth triple. However the Miracle had just four hits. Danny Valencia went 1-3 with a walk. Jeff Manship took the loss to fall to 7-4. In 3.2 innings, he gave up three runs on five hits. Surprisingly he walked four and struck out none. Kyle Aselton gave up three runs on two hits and two walks in 2.1 innings. He struck out four. Adam Hawes gave up two unearned runs in his inning. Danny Powers, in his fourth game back with the Miracle, struck out three in two innings.
Monday - Snappers 0, Kane County 6 The Snappers managed just two hits in this game. Brian Kirwan fell to 2-6. He gave up six runs (5 earned) over 4.1 innings. He gave up seven hits, walked four and struck out three. Jesus Carnevales struck out three in 1.2 innings. Matt Fox struck out three in three strikeout innings.
Monday - E-Twins No Game Scheduled.
GCL TWINS REPORT
Monday - GCL Twins 7, GCL Reds 6 Dan Berlind gave up one run over the first six innings. He allowed five hits and walked one. Jarrod Eacott struck out two in his perfect inning. Nelvin Fuentes gave up three unearned runs in his inning. He did strikeout two. Danny Rondon saved his 12th game. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in an inning. Ben Revere led the offense by going 2-4 with a walk. Juan Richardson went 1-2 with a walk and his 9th double. Jeanfred Brito hit his seventh double. Alexander Soto hit his fourth double.
That is it for today. Have a good week!|
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