The Tigers announced Thursday that they’ve claimed outfielder Dustin Peterson off waivers from the Braves. In order to open a roster spot for Peterson, who was designated for assignment by Atlanta recently, Detroit transferred John Hicks from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Peterson has been optioned and will not join the Tigers’ big league roster at this time.
Peterson, who’ll turn 24 this coming Monday, received an exceptionally brief promotion to the Majors this season, making just two plate appearances before being sent back to Triple-A Gwinnett. A second-round pick of the Padres back in the 2013 draft, he joined the Braves organization alongside Max Fried, Jace Peterson and Mallex Smith in the 2014 Justin Upton blockbuster.
A former third baseman, Peterson moved to the outfield on a full-time basis back in 2015. He’s appeared at all three spots in the time since, though he’s best suited for corner work and has spent the bulk of his time in left field over the past two seasons. Peterson doesn’t strike out at an alarming rate (career 22 percent in Triple-A) but also isn’t overly proficient in terms of drawing walks (7.2 percent in Triple-A). He’s hit for a decent average but shown more gap power than over-the-fence pop in the upper minors, as evidenced by a .260/.321/.368 slash with a dozen homers and 40 doubles in 788 plate appearances.
While some scouting reports have previously pegged Peterson for average to slightly above-average raw power, he’s yet to tap into that in the upper levels of the Braves’ system. That said, he still ranked 15th among Braves farmhands on the latest midseason update from Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, so it’s a bit surprising to see him change hands on a mere waiver claim. Peterson has a pair of minor league options left beyond the current season, so the Tigers can afford to be patient with him in the future, should he stick on the 40-man roster into the 2019 season.