DJ Peters was drafted by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft. After working his way up through the minors, he finally made his debut with the club in 2021.
After multiple stints with the club in 2021, Peters was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on July 29. Days later, he was claimed off waivers by the Rangers.
Peters didn’t begin the 2021 campaign on the Dodgers’ active roster. It was his second season being on LA’s 40-man roster but he had yet to make his major-league debut. On April 23, he finally got his chance as the Dodgers called him up.
This was extra special for Peters, as he was a local kid and went to high school in Glendora. It was a rough start to his big-league career, as he went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts during his first three games. He was sent back down to Oklahoma City for two weeks before being called back up by the Dodgers.
On May 8, Peters recorded his first career hit in the show. It was a blooper that resulted in a double, but it goes down in the record books as a clean double.
His stay was much longer this time around, as he was with the Dodgers through the end of May. After recording his first hit, Peters struggled at the plate as he hit only .188. He struck out seven times in his 23 plate appearances. With Peters at the plate, it either meant two things. A strikeout or walk.
Through his first 25 plate appearances in May, Peters struck out seven times and walked eight times. He had an on-base percentage of .480 during that stretch, which was remarkable. It helped that he usually his eighth, because four of those eight walks were intentional.
On May 27, Peters finally connected on his first career home run. After 457 games, over 1,700 at bats and 92 home runs in the minors, he finally got that coveted big-league home run.
“It didn’t really hit me until after the game,” Peters said to the media following the game. “To get it here at Dodger Stadium is surreal, but to do it against the team in orange and black is that much better.”
“DJ has been around our group for the last four years,” Dave Roberts said following the game said. “I think he’s a lot more comfortable in his own skin as a big-league ballplayer. The defense has been has been very good and consistent. Just slowing things down in the box has been really good. He just has an understanding of what he needs to do to learn major league pitching a little more. You don’t know until you know. This has been a good runway for him.”
Sadly, baseball can be a cruel game, as the following day would be Peters’ final game with the Dodgers. He was sent back to the minors at the end of May, where he stayed with Oklahoma City for two months.
On July 29, the Dodgers acquired Danny Duffy from the Royals. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, Peters was designated for assignment. Just a few days later, Peters found a new home as he was claimed off waivers by the Rangers.
In 52 games with Texas to close the season, Peters hit 12 home runs and drove in 34 runs. That was really the only positive. He hit below the Mendoza Line and had 68 strikeouts (33%) with only four walks (1.9%).
Stats: .192/.382/.385/.767, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 109 OPS+, 89 wRC+, 41.2 K%, 23.5 BB%
Game of the year
As mentioned earlier, hitting your first career home run in the stadium you grew up going to games at is truly special.
He reached a one-year agreement on a contract with the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization. He’ll receive a $600K base salary and can earn up to $80K worth of incentives.