We’ve finally made it! Pitchers and Catchers report this month!! This is a wonderful thing!
As timing would have it, I’m not profiling a pitcher or a catcher. Then again, even though P&C marks my start to spring, the rest of the team does eventually show up. And that includes today’s subject, who will wear #64 on his back in camp…
Shane Aaron Peterson is a 6’0″, 210 lb outfielder and first baseman who comes to the Brewers organization this year as a waiver claim from the Oakland A’s by way of the Chicago Cubs. See, the Cubs claimed Peterson from the A’s on December 19th but almost immediately waived him when they needed the 40-man spot for some free agent signing. The Brewers, who later admitted to having put in a claim on Peterson when the A’s waived him in the first place, won the claim this time from the Cubs.
Peterson, who will be 27 by the time camp opens, is a left-handed batter who is capable of playing all three defensive outfield positions as well as moonlighting at first base. Peterson has logged 610 games in the outfield in his seven seasons as a farmhand with an additional 138 games at first base. He even pitched in one game, taking the loss after allowing a solo home run. He did record an out though, so that’s something. Seriously though, he’s only appeared in two MLB games, both at first base and both for the Athletics, but don’t get it twisted. He’s an outfielder by trade.
At the plate, Peterson is no slouch. His career minor league slash line is .294/.383/.452 which illustrates that he has occasional pop but certainly shouldn’t be classified as a power hitter. Peterson’s 2014 line was close to his career numbers with a .308/.381/.460 slash line.
Peterson may have been squeezed out in Oakland this off-season, but he’s got a legitimate shot at making the 25-man roster when camp breaks in early April. His handedness, hitting ability, but most importantly his defensive versatility give him plusses over incumbent 5th outfielder Logan Schafer. Schafer is a better pure defender, but one who hasn’t yet figured out his best approach at coming off the bench and staying ready in that role.
This is a true position battle, in my opinion, one that could shape the bench in the early part of the year. Peterson and Schafer each have one minor league option remaining, so that’s not necessarily a concern either way.
If he should make the 25-man roster, I’d guess he’d choose a lower number in Milwaukee, but for February and March, watch for Peterson’s #64 and Schafer’s #7 to be compared to each other early and often.