Relief pitcher Scott Alexander was the headliner for the Dodgers in their three-team trade with the Royals and White Sox on Thursday, but the club also added utility man Jake Peter as part of the deal.
Peter came from Chicago’s system, where he has split time between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte in each of the last two seasons.
The lefty-batting, righty-throwing utility man was drafted by the White Sox in the seventh round of the 2014 draft out of Creighton, and hit .279/.344/.417 with 35 extra-base hits in 120 games in 2017.
Peter was promoted to Triple-A on July 18, in the middle of an 18-game hitting streak split evenly between levels. That was also the end of a 28-game streak reaching base by hit or walk, during which time Peter hit .414/.476/.595 with six doubles, four home runs and a triple.
Before the 2017 season, Future Sox profiled Peter:
Peter has good feel for the bat and the strike zone, and uses a line drive approach that gives him lots of doubles but not many home runs. Contact rates are good and he does draw some walks. He’s got average speed and his coaches refer to him as a heady, high IQ player. Defensively he’s got plenty of arm to play anywhere, and reports on his 2B defense range from “solid there” to “strong defender”. Jake has also played some shortstop, third base, first base and corner outfield as a pro, and his athleticism and defensive flexibility should give him a utility path as a potential (or even likely) route to the majors.
Peter played primarily second base in Triple-A, starting 41 of his 45 games at the position with Charlotte. But he also started games at third base, left field and right field in 2017, and played 20 games at shortstop as recently as 2016.
John Sickels chimed in on Peter as well at Minor League Ball in January 2017:
Lefty line drive hitter with doubles power; tools average in all respects; controls strike zone well, versatile glove can fit at almost any position due to his instincts and work ethic; grows on you the more you see him play; should be valuable bench asset.
Eric Longenhagen described Peter’s change in approach in 2017 at FanGraphs:
Peter began using a leg kick, had more active hands as he set up and was taking more a more violent, high-effort swing late in 2016 and more so in 2017. He started hitting the ball harder and pulling the ball more, ending 2017 with a .292/.351/.506 line in 45 games at Triple-A Charlotte. Peter’s strikeout rate did tick up, to 24.0% in 2017 against a 17.7% mark split between Double and Triple-A in 2016. Charlotte is a favorable run-scoring environment, but Peter has made tangible mechanical changes and his hand-eye coordination, his most exceptional attribute, enables the more violent swing.
After the three-team trade, Peter checked in as the Dodgers’ 30th-rated prospect by MLB.com.
In the Arizona Fall League in 2015, Peter was a Glendale Desert Dogs teammate of current Dodgers catcher Kyle Farmer.