D.J. Converts D.R.
Kung Fu Hustle, dept.


Gordon, Spec and others have been enthused about D.J. Peterson.  Dr. D has not.  It's not that I've had anything against him; I just didn't get him.  Just as in "not knowing much about him."  Certainly the national sites have not hesitated to slot Peterson wayyyy high on the org list, often ahead of James Paxton (almost before Peterson played any pro ball).

Sabermetrics, as opposed to tools scouting, devotes its attention to performance history.  It's not like Peterson's performance record exceeds Ackley's and Zunino's, or anything like that.  And we hadn't had a chance to see him.


Deconstructing Deej

The Seattle Times has a very fine highlight reel, or three, from Friday's game.  By "very fine" we mean "lots of different highlights, from a good angle."  We were able to extract half-a-dozen stills on D.J.'s homer swing, which ain't bad as far as video quality from an early-March game.

Go take a look at D.J.'s swing, starting at the 1:45 mark on the last video.  What do you see?




WAIT!  We better initialize your system before we start coding.  Here is a Dustin Ackley groundout from the same game.  The point?  It's one thing to have a pretty swing against the bathroom mirror.  It's another thing to have a pretty swing when an enemy pitcher is trying to kill you in 0.4 of a second.  

Nice weight transfer, eh?  :- /  It was a 42-hopper to short.  With a lunge like this, weight so far in front and so off-balance, it's a wonder that the ball rolled to the other side of the infield grass.



Okey doke... DJ's swing.  

Frame 1 below, launch-ready ... note where the ball is in the pitcher's stroke.  Note the location of the ball in each frame to follow, too.

What we want to do, is take these six "markers," so we grok what is going on ... and then GO BACK AND WATCH THE VIDEO quite a few times.  To "feel" the principles dynamically.  Right now, we're just downloading the checkpoints for later use.



Frame 2 below - at the release of the ball.  0.4 seconds from here to Bat Meets Ball.

Comment.  D.J. did not "freeze" or lurch or tense as he went from "ready" to "go."  He's relaxed and he's very quiet.  (As Gordon pointed out, all this occurs on a high-inside fastball like the one that broke his face last year.)



Frame 3 below.  The ball is halfway to home plate.

See the absence of "load"?  The feet barely move, the weight doesn't sink (not that such would be bad), the head is stock-still and the hands certainly aren't bobbing like Bret Boone.



Frame 4 below.  Contact.

Notice the angle of the spine, the head down, the extreme torque.  (You'll need to watch this on the video to appreciate the torque that comes out of such little "load.")

Usually before you drive a nail, you have to swing the hammer UP before you slam it down.  D.J.'s swing is remarkable for its lack of "Hammer Up First."   Which is a principle of the Tao ... even in classical music, for example, you've got to have a "question" before the "answer."  You compress the spring, and then it unwinds.

We're not saying that this is bizarre ... we're just admiring the lack of need that D.J. has to wind himself up, to get power.  (Of course, this allows him more time to see the ball, before he has to decide to launch.)

rst-spring-hit/?prmid=obinsource">here is the Times video rat cheer.

See the angle of the right shin?  D.J. isn't using his butt as much as he's using his knees.  It's a Tiger Woods lower body.  Golfers dream about this knee action.

And, again, enjoy the natural loft put onto this single.  Peterson is going to hit a LOT of fly balls, gennlemen.


There are players you find through sabermetrics.  And there are players you find through tools scouting.  This would be the latter.  

I flat enjoy watching D.J. Peterson swing a baseball bat.  :- )  What's your take?







When you watch the video from behind, above and too the right it is had to see ANY movement before he explodes on the ball. OK, the catcher is in the way and you can't see Deej's feet from that angle, but this guy is STILL at the plate. I agree on the fly-ball projection, Doc. He's going to hit a bunch of them. Hard!
I'm with you as far as not knowing much about the kid. I hadn't seen much video. But when I got home lasst night and saw the shot he hit and how quiet he was I was pretty sure he isn't far from the majors right now.
Bob Horner: 6'1 195 D.J. Peterson 6'1 190
Both play 3B. (DJ will find a home at 1B, perhaps) Horner spent zero/nada/zilch time in the minors after he came out of college. He ripped, pretty much right away. His problem was that he broke all the time.
Let's hope Deej doesn't. I think he's got some moon shots to left field in him. My bold prediction: Jackson and then Tacoma by July. Seatle? Hey, we need RH bats, don't we? It isn't out of the question, if the right injury were to occur.


Dude can swing. He's got the Edgar wait for the ball to get to him and show him the break, but his swing is greedier than Gars. Not in a bad way, but Edgar would only ever take what was given to him. Peterson has a chip on his shoulder and wants more glory, so he forces the issue more. So he won't walk like Gar, who allowed it and encouraged it. DJ is more aggressive. It'll get him in trouble in the beginning - scouts knocked him for diving into the plate for balls he should let go and live to fight another day against. Thome was a diver, tho - didn't hurt him.
DJ has loads of potential at third, first or the outfield. I hope we don't rush him too much, but we are gonna need to get him to a fail position so he can tell what to dive at and what not to. But watching him in college I never understood the park argument against him. His swing will play anywhere. Looking forward to seeing it in safeco soon.

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