The Mariners made several notable position-player promotions in the minor league system this week, with former first-round draft pick D.J. Peterson leading the way.
The first baseman was bumped up to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday after enjoying his first extended hot streak at Double-A Jackson.
Seattle’s top draft pick in 2013, Peterson reached the Double-A level midway through the 2014 season. It took him a while to get to a point in which he could crush Southern League pitching, but that started happening in mid-May.
In his final 35 games for Jackson, Peterson batted .331 with nine home runs and 23 RBI. His on-base percentage during that stretch was .396, and his slugging percentage was .610.
“He’s worked really hard in the cage with some different things trying to get him in a better position to hit,” Jackson manager Daren Brown said. “He’s been waiting for better pitches to hit, and not missing them. He was over-anxious early in the year, but the last six or seven weeks he’s been really good.”
Peterson figures to play first base daily for the remainder of Tacoma’s season.
Also promoted this week:
Outfielder Chantz Mack was moved from Class-A Bakersfield to Jackson. He was batting .301 with eight homers and 58 RBI in 71 games, while posting a .386 on-base percentage.
University of Washington product Braden Bishop took Mack’s spot in Bakersfield, California, earning the promotion from Low-A Clinton. The Mariners’ third-round draft pick in 2015 hit .290 with a .363 OBP in 63 games for Clinton.
Unlikely HR Binge
El Paso Chihuahuas catcher Austin Hedges has long been considered one of the top prospects in the minor leagues strictly because of his defensive skills behind the plate. “Any offense is a bonus,” is a common line in scouting reports from Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America.
It’s bonus time in El Paso.
Hedges has been on a two-week home run binge unlike anything he has ever done in his professional career.
Starting with a solo homer on June 16 against Albuquerque, Hedges ripped 11 homers in 13 games before Saturday. He homered in nine of those 13 games, with a pair of two-homer outings. Hedges has also piled up 27 runs batted in during the streak.
The 24-year-old San Diego Padres prospect had never hit more than 10 homers in a season. He eclipsed that mark in a fortnight.
The Padres gave Hedges a 56-game major league trial last year, and he hit .168 with three home runs.
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.