As I detailed before Draft Day got started here with some help from my friends, it looked like the Seattle Mariners were going to have quite a few ways they could go with their first overall selection in the 2013 First Year Player Draft. As there were a few surprises in the picks ahead of them, that was indeed the case, and in the end the Mariners ended up going with familiarity and chose one of those players we mentioned in University of New Mexico third baseman D.J. Peterson as their selection at 12th overall.
Peterson is a 6-foot-1, 205 pound right-handed hitter that Seattle originally selected in the 33rd round out of Gilbert High School in Arizona back in 2010. He hit 18 home runs for the Lobos this season, tied for the 3rd highest number in the NCAA. But he is more than just a power hitter. Peterson hit .408/.520/.807 in 55 games and 218 at bats for New Mexico, displaying an advanced approach and very good plate discipline in the process.
During his brief introductory press conference via phone, Peterson said he was, "Looking forward to the opportunity and getting to the big leagues as fast as I can. To be honest I didn't know what to expect and my advisor played a little trick on me by not telling me what was happening before the pick, so it was all by surprise. Couldn't be any more excited. I'm going to drive in a lot of runs for the Mariners and I'm going to hit a lot of home runs." On not signing with Seattle when he was picked in 2010, Peterson said, "I think it was for the best. People said I had some things to work on, and they were right."
Peterson is praised for his power, maturity and plate discipline and he said that he thought he had advanced a lot in handling the bat with two strikes over the past three years. He played a lot of first base this season but that was born out of necessity on the roster, D.J. said on the call. He is very confident in and proud of the improvements he made in his defensive game at third base.
I'll have more on Peterson -- and hopefully even something from Peterson himself -- and the rest of the Mariners draft in the coming days.
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