Two days before last Christmas, the Milwaukee Brewers selected Shane Peterson off waivers from the Chicago Cubs, who had done the same thing four days earlier from the Oakland Athletics.
Peterson turned out to be a solid acquisition for the Brewers, as the 27-year-old lefty swinger made 43 starts in the outfield due to injuries and trades and in addition, played a key role as a fourth outfielder when he wasn’t in the starting lineup.
The California native was drafted in the second round of the 2008 MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. A bit over a year later, he was traded to Oakland in the deal that brought Matt Holliday to the Cardinals.
Peterson toiled in the minors until April 2013, when he was called up to the A’s and played in back-to-back games, stroking his first big league hit while going 1-for-7 in the process. After the likely emergency-type call up, he was sent back to AAA, where he spent the remainder of the next two seasons.
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Then he got scooped up by the Brewers, who were in the market for an extra flychaser, and the rest as they say, is history.
Peterson began the season at AAA Colorado Springs and then got called up by Milwaukee in early June after slashing .320/.387/.523 in 194 trips to the plate for the Sky Sox.
The injury of Khris Davis gave Peterson an opportunity to make some starts in left field, where he performed well both at bat and in the field.
While subbing for Davis, Peterson made the most of it, slashing .261/.320/.319 in 75 plate appearances in what for all intents and purposes was his major league debut.
For the balance of July, Peterson played mostly as a pinch-hitter, but then Carlos Gomez got traded.
Peterson played okay on defense in center field, but struggled a little at the plate, slashing .232/.303/.304 in 80 trips to the dish.
After Ryan Braun spent some time on the bench in late September, Peterson made a few starts in right field, filling in as needed.
For the year, Peterson finished with a slash line of .259/.324/.353 in 226 plate appearances, with 12 extra-base hits. He showed some defensive prowess, with an above-average range rating, but a below-average error rating. He threw out four base-runners.
Shane Peterson filled in solidly as a starter and did well as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement and should get a chance to fulfill the same roles in 2016.