It’s been an interesting year for the Milwaukee Brewers and Jace Peterson.
Peterson was originally signed with the Brewers in December of 2019. His contract was selected on August 22, 2020 after Brock Holt was DFA’d. He played in 26 of the 60 games, and ended with a .200/.393/.749 slash line. He had two home runs and only five RBIs.
After the season, he was nontendered by the Brewers. In January of 2021, he signed a minor league contract back with the team. At first, the signing seemed to be for additional minor league depth in case of injury. The team already had players like Mark Mathias, Daniel Robertson, Pablo Reyes, Zach Green and Tim Lopes.
Thanks to injuries in the minors with players like Mathias and in the majors like Kolten Wong, Peterson was first called up on April 10th. After injuring his left thumb, he was sent to the 10-day injured list as well and later DFA’d after his injury. Before he was designated for assigned, he had an average of .208 and five hits.
2021 Second Chance
Luckily for Milwaukee, the 31-year-old accepted his assignment and stayed with the team. The Brewers infield position has been a rotating carousel thanks to injuries. Wong has had multiple injury stints, and no one is exactly sure when Travis Shaw and Daniel Vogelbach will return. In their absence, players like Luis Urias, Keston Hiura and Peterson have all stepped up and helped the Brewers become one of the hottest teams in baseball.
With Peterson nearing almost 80 at-bats on the season, he now has 20 hits, two home runs, 13 RBIs and raised his average to .260. Going into July, that has Peterson with the fourth highest batting average on the team. That’s insane for a first place ball club.
Peterson has also increased his OPS to .790. The man keeps finding a way to get on base. The Brewers will definitely be buyers at the trade deadline, but who knows if they will find another bat or player off the bench who have the same numbers. Of course there are plenty of player with more home runs and RBIs, but who knows if they will be able to get on base as much. It’s a hard thing to balance when deciding your bench batters.
Other random/interesting stats on Jace. People criticize the stat, but his launch angle on pitches is the highest it’s been in his career at 15.6. His sweet spot percentage on the ball is 32.4%, his strike out percentage has lowered to 24.7% and his walk percentage is at 17.2%. Last season is 24.6% over those 26 games.
Recent Cubs Series Numbers
The Brewers just swept the Cubs, and Jace was a huge contributer to that. During the team’s historic comeback in the third game after trailing 7-0 and winning 15-7, Peterson was 2-4. He had a walk and three RBIs.
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) June 30, 2021
In Game Two, he was 1-2 with another walk, a double and an RBI. On Monday and Game One, he was 3-4 with another double, another walk and another RBI. He also had a stolen base. He has three stolen bases this year, which is the same amount as Tyrone Taylor, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Luis Urias. Not a bad category to be in when those players are more known for their speed.
Cemented Roster Spot
Even with Kolten Wong probably returning again, Peterson probably doesn’t have to worry about being DFA’d again. He has made every opportunity count his second time up, and should be on the roster the rest of the season.
You have to start Wong when he is healthy, but it will also be hard to sit Peterson right now. He is having quality at-bats, stretching out plays and has solid defense. He the ultimate utility infielder right now for Milwaukee, and seems to have found a home with the Brewers.
After stints with the San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles, his timing right now with Milwaukee couldn’t have come at a better time. The Brewers needed a utility player to step up in a big way, and Jace just keeps getting on base.