Peters was firmly entrenched in the middle of their prospect pool, earning significant reps in the high minors and excelling with the bat. It wasn’t hard to envision him as the next above-average hitter who simply outworked the rest of the field, earning a permanent floating bench role in Los Angeles.
Alas, it was not to be.
In a brief big league cameo this spring, Peters hit .192 with a single home run in 26 at-bats. And when it came time to supplement the Dodgers’ roster for the stretch run, he found himself a 40-man casualty instead of an instrumental piece of the puzzle.
Peters was jettisoned for Los Angeles area native and lifelong Dodgers fan Danny Duffy, acquired from the Kansas City Royals (while on the IL) to inject some life into the middle innings down the stretch.
Days later, the former Dodgers top 30 prospect ended up a Texas Ranger, just like that.
The Dodgers lost DJ Peters for nothing after signing Danny Duffy.
At one point, Peters at least seemed like a solid and valuable secondary piece in a deadline deal, if not a part of LA’s future. After the magic this staff worked with Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez, and (to a lesser extent) Matt Beaty and Zach McKinstry, there was certainly hope that Peters’ line-drive ropes could eventually leave the ballpark, and he might fill a need for this team as a chess piece.
Truth be told, the stars are aligning for Peters to help the Rangers right away, showing the Dodgers exactly what they opted to miss. Texas DFA’d outfielder David Dahl earlier this week, and Peters’ recent Triple-A hot streak indicates that he deserves another chance at big-league pitching swiftly.
These are the pitfalls of an overstuffed farm system and a 40-man roster pushed to the brink. Sometimes, to make meaningful upgrades, you have to push big-league-ready bats out of the system in favor of proven veterans.
Sometimes, in fact, you lose them after the season for nothing at all in the Rule 5 draft.
Peters seemed like too major a casualty for such a depth move as the Duffy addition, though, and fans are no doubt wondering why the team couldn’t have cleared more of the chum from their pitching ranks instead of developing Peters for so long before slicing him loose.