Tigers sign former Dodgers top prospect to minor-league contract

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Another former Los Angeles Dodger is on the move this offseason, but it's probably someone fans have fully forgotten about. DJ Peters, anyone? He just signed a minor-league contract with the Detroit Tigers.

Peters, a former top-10 prospect in the Dodgers system, spent most of 2022 with the Lotte Giants in the Korean Baseball Organization. He was waived by them in July and eventually signed with the Washington Nationals in September. After 13 games at Triple-A Rochester, though, that was it for him.

Prior to that, his 2021 season featured the end of his Dodgers career. In 18 MLB games with LA (after over four years in the minor leagues, not counting the canceled 2020 season), Peters hit just .192 and didn't exactly fit into the team's crowded outfield picture. He was eventually waived and claimed by the Texas Rangers.

In the Lone Star State, he hit .192 with a .645 OPS in 52 games (and struck out a troubling 68 times). That offseason, he was outrighted to Triple-A after the team made a number of moves to address their big-league roster, and Peters opted to travel overseas to begin the 2022 season.

He might've picked a favorable opportunity in Detroit because of how bad the Tigers roster is. If he can impress in spring training or have a strong showing at Triple-A to start the season, he could be getting MLB reps in no time.

Former Dodgers OF DJ Peters signs with Detroit Tigers

One could argue the canceled 2020 minor-league season threw off Peters' trajectory, especially since his athleticism and defense were never really concerns. The Dodgers were more focused on the development of his bat, which lagged in various departments over the years.

But in 2019, Peters hit his stride at Triple-A OKC, his first appearance at that level. In 57 games (after 68 at Double-A Tulsa), he hit .260 with an .879 OPS, 12 home runs and 39 RBI. He hit 27 home runs in 2017; 29 in 2018; and 23 in 2019. After the absence of minor-league baseball in 2020, Peters returned to Triple-A OKC and hit .233 with a .691 OPS, four home runs and 19 RBI in 50 games. What in the world happened?

At that point, he was 25 years old, and the Dodgers had to make a decision. They gave him a chance in the bigs, it didn't work out, and they moved on. Extremely unfortunate for somebody who was a top-10 prospect in 2018 and then just outside the top-10 in 2019 and 2020 due to the addition of other promising players.

His showing in KBO, however, was tough (.228 AVG, .701 OPS, 13 HR and 48 RBI in 85 games), so he might have a bit of an uphill battle in Detroit despite there being room on the ladder to move up.

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