The Rangers signed DJ Peters to a minor league contract, as initially reported by pitching consultant and former big leaguer Dave Coggin (X link). After beginning his pro career as an outfielder, Peters is now exploring a second chapter as a pitcher, which began when he tossed 21 2/3 innings for the Tigers’ Florida Complex League team last season.
Peters appeared in 70 games with the Dodgers and Rangers in 2021, which marks his only previous MLB experience. He hit .197/.242/.422 with 13 home runs and 82 strikeouts over his 240 plate appearance. The lack of contact has been the story for much of Peters’ career, as while his power potential drew him some notice during his time in the L.A. farm system, rival pitchers were increasingly able to find holes in his swing. The canceled 2020 minor league season also seemed to halt Peters’ momentum, as his numbers in the minors drastically tailed off after that lost year.
Peters’ 2022 season was mostly spent in South Korea with the KBO League’s Lotte Giants, though he caught on with the Nationals late in the year on a minor league deal, and then spent the 2023 campaign in Detroit’s organization on another minors contract. Peters didn’t see any game action apart from his 17 appearances as a pitcher in the FCL, and he posted a 6.23 ERA over his 21 2/3 frames, and had more walks (27) than strikeouts (24).
Clearly the transition to pitching is still a work in progress, and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes that Peters’ deal doesn’t include an invitation to the Rangers’ big league spring camp. Peters will get an opportunity to work with some familiar faces in the organization as he continues to develop his craft on the mound, and figure out how to harness his stuff. As noted by Coggin elsewhere on his X feed, Peters’ fastball sits at 95mph and he has a slider with a lot of break.