This post is the fifth in a series called “Farm Fodder” that will examine White Sox prospects who could make a significant impact in Chicago in the coming years.  Recent trades have significantly increased the amount of talent in the White Sox Organization, but there are also a few very talented players that remain from before the trades.  The next prospect we will examine is Jake Peter.

Jake Peter is 6’-1” 185 lb. left-handed hitting right-handed throwing infielder selected by the White Sox in the 7th round of the 2014 amateur draft.  Peter, who was drafted by the Sox after his junior year, is a product of Creighton University.  Peter is a good athlete who both pitched and played middle infield during his college career.  After his sophomore season, he was a finalist for the John Olerud Award which recognizes the premier two-way players in college baseball.  As a pitcher, Peter worked out of the bullpen with a fastball that touched 96 mph.  However, frequent elbow soreness on days after pitching and a desire to play every day led him to enter the draft as a position player, according to MLB Pipeline.  The White Sox have been using him primarily as a second basemen.  Peter was well regarded as a college hitter for his polished approach and his promise as a contact hitter.

Peter has advanced quickly through the White Sox Organization.  In 2016, his second full season as a pro, Peter began at AA Birmingham and finished the season at AAA Charlotte.  Combined between AA and AAA Peter hit .283/.350/.376 with 27 2B, 6 HR, 53 RBI, and 8 stolen bases and struck out 96 times in 481 at bats.  While the strikeouts are somewhat high for a contact oriented player like Peter, his performance was still quite impressive considering his lack of experience at the higher levels of pro ball.  MLB Pipeline summarizes Peter’s approach that is the key to his success:

“One of the most advanced hitters in Chicago’s system, Peter controls the strike zone and has a contact-oriented approach from the left side of the plate. He doesn’t have much power, so he concentrates on getting on base. He can steal an occasional base, as much because of his instincts as his average speed.”

Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs also elaborates on Peter’s game:

“Peter tracks pitches well, has good bat control, and a simple, low-maintenance swing that produces lots of contact. He lacks the bat speed and mechanical elements of power that he’d need to profile at the positions he’s capable of playing full time. Peter plays all over. He saw time at every infield position, left and right field in 2016. He fits best at the corners and is fine at second base. He profiles as a bat-first utility man.”

Unlike some other players who lack power, Peter embraces his power limitations and his role.  He works counts and focuses on getting on base.  He doesn’t focus on lifting the ball, which would work against his strengths as a contact hitter with minimal power.  Additionally, Peter has a strong arm for a second baseman.  He is a solid defender who, if not an everyday player, should make a solid utility player.

Though Peter was not part of the recent hitting minicamp, the White Sox do think highly of him.  He is a solid overall baseball player.  He will likely receive a non-roster invitation to Major League Spring Training and audition for a role on the 25-Man roster at some point during 2017.  However, the White Sox have a surplus of middle infielders at this time.  Infielders such as Carlos Sanchez and Leury Garcia who have both seen time in Chicago are likely ahead of Peter on the depth chart to receive an extended look as utility players, assuming Tyler Saladino is playing second base every day and not filling a utility role.  However, since the White Sox brought back Brett Lawrie and have yet to trade third baseman Todd Frazier, Saladino will likely begin the season in a utility role.   Further clouding the future for Peter, Yoan Moncada is looming as the long term future second baseman for the Sox.  If Moncada eventually moves to third base, that would open up second base for another player in the long term, perhaps Peter.  At his peak, Peter could probably start as a second baseman for a contending White Sox team.  He could potentially hit .300 with 5-7 HR and 10-15 steals at the Major League level, and become a very strong #2 slot hitter.  However, as MLB Pipeline and FanGraphs indicated, Peter would be most valuable as a utility player.  Should there not be a role for him on the White Sox, he could be very appealing to a National League club.  However, I expect Peter to become a very solid contributor for the White Sox in the near future.  Greetings from Omaha, Jake; Creighton is proud of you.  We all hope to see your debut in Chicago soon.  -DV

Jake Peter Video:

Jake Peter Home Run AAA Charlotte:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8j2lMiXcYY

Jake Peter Walk-off Single AAA Charlotte:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcaaBmtwQs4

Jake Peter Drafted, Local News Footage:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypm_DnFmzi0

 

 

Twitter:  @DaVroomer

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