Peters, Bellinger share similar meteoric rise

Dodgers prospect, NL Rookie of the Year rode big-homer Minors seasons to Major League opportunity

February 2nd, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- Is Dodgers prospect DJ Peters the next ?

Bellinger slugged 30 homers in 2015 at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga to earn a Major League invite to '16 Spring Training and was the unanimous National League Rookie of the Year in '17.

Peters slugged 27 homers in 2017 with Rancho Cucamonga to earn a Major League invite to '18 Spring Training.

Bellinger is a left-handed first baseman, Peters a right-handed outfielder. The Dodgers drafted both in the fourth round and they represent the organization's increasing ability to produce the kind of home run hitters valued in today's game.

Peters, 22, lacks the big league pedigree of Bellinger, whose father, Clay, won three World Series rings with the Yankees and Angels. But at 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, Peters has imposing size and light-tower power to go with it. He was previously drafted by the Cubs and Rangers, but rejected both offers to attend Western Nevada College because, he said, he needed to mature. He's ranked No. 16 among Dodgers prospects according to MLB Pipeline.

Peters, who grew up 25 miles from Dodger Stadium, said he's patterned his game after former Dodger Shawn Green ever since Green slugged four homers in a game in Milwaukee when Peters was 6.

There might be some young sluggers patterning their games after Peters in the wake of his true coming out last year. Opposing Giants ace , who was making a rehab start, Peters homered twice -- in the same inning.

"We were super excited to face him; that doesn't happen every day," Peters said. "I was excited if I had gone 2-for-2 or 0-for-2, I just wanted to see what the Major League level was like and [face] one of the best in the game. I faced him three times and got ahold of him twice. It's a time and moment I'll never forget. I got both balls back, tickets to the game, a lineup card. I did not talk to him. I don't know if that would have gone over good."

Like many sluggers, Peters has a tendency to be boom or bust, as he showed in the Arizona Fall League. In 84 at-bats, he launched six homers but also struck out 40 times.

"There are things I have to improve on and I know it," said Peters, whose full name is Donald Scott (the J in DJ is for Junior).

Peters, who started most of his games last year in center field, is likely to begin this season at Double-A Tulsa.