Nothing like having two draws at the same, quality player, y'know? Kivlehan and Peterson are basically synonyms for each other in our system.
- nominally a 3B
- moving to another corner for full-time duty
- hits .300, with about 60 points of patience so far
- no displayed weakness vs. same-handed-pitching - very important for righties
- slated for AAA this Spring
- top-6 org prospect
The latter may not be true for everyone w/r/t Kivlehan... but it probably should be. His actual age is not his experiential age - Kivlehan is doing fine on his age timeline, and he has plenty of power. We don't have to wait for him to grow into it.
In fact, both men have homered already in the first 2 games of Spring, to give you a nice look at the two guys fighting over 1B/LF in the very near future.
First let's take a look at DJ. He hit a nice rope out over the LF fence, once again reminding me of Gar.
Look... here's Gar:
And here's DJ:
It ain't exact, but there are a lot of similarities there. DJ gets very good plate coverage too, even if his pitch selectivity and willingness to walk are not Edgar-like at this point. Edgar wasn't Edgar-like at 23 either (although his batting eye was always outrageously good).
DJ had tremendous power in college with power-deadening bats - it was "blamed" on his home park altitude. He hit 30 homers and 30 doubles last year, but that was credited again to hitting at High Desert for half the year. His home-run rate plummeted from every 15 at-bats in High Desert to every 17 at-bats in AA, btw - or a little better than Nelson Cruz's minor league ratio. That rate would still put him on pace to top 30 HRs with 550 ABs, and he shouldn't be short on doubles either.
I'm not comparing DJ's career path to Gar's - I'm on record that I think he's more Michael Cuddyer, maybe Hunter Pence if things break right. But the kid should be hitting, and I'm glad to see him making early statements. The moment's not too big for him, that's for sure, and with a nice single back up the middle with runners on, his situational hitting was just fine as well.
But what about Kivlehan? Well today he hit his own homer.
He gets ripped in some quarters for the front toe dancing around and waving the bat a little... but that stuff is all pre-pitch - doesn't bother me in the slightest. Once the pitch is launched he finds great moments of stillness into which he attacks. What I'm pretty pleased about is that the Mariners have left him pretty much alone in that regard. They didn't try to rework his swing, just gave him a couple pointers and left him to it. He's rewarded them at every step. Patrick's upper and lower halves are separated a bit when he swings, but he's strong enough to do it that way, and plenty of dudes have been successful with rotation-and-wrist swings. He cleared the 410 sign by about 20 feet, and it's not hot enough in Arizona yet for that to be temperature-aided. He just clocked it.
He added a couple singles yesterday, and fired a ball to home from 1B to nab a runner - showing his arm is third-base standard, not first-base, so the outfield will let him show that off too.
He's too aggressive to ever walk a ton, but the guy just hits .300 everywhere, no matter what his experience level is, and lets the game come to him. He's still climbing the mountain - it ain't too big for him either. Kivlehan hasn't shown the pure HR power that DJ has, but is much faster on the basepaths. Kivlehan had 9 triples (!) last year to go with his 30+ doubles. His speed should play better in the OF, which is good because we have to find SOME way to get these two men off the same position(s) so that we can keep both. Seth Smith is a temporary patch, and LoMo has only managed more than 100 games in the bigs once.
DJ and Patrick: enjoy your glimpse of the future. It could be our present soon enough.