The Brewers have signed a player for the second day in a row, this time an old friend.
Jace Peterson wowed Brewers fans in 2020 with his ability to draw walks. How could such a non-threatening hitter draw 15 walks in only 61 plate appearances?
Despite hitting just .200, Peterson had a remarkable .393 OBP. What should be obvious heading into 2021 is that Peterson won’t be able to sustain his 24.6% walk rate.
Peterson also struck out 20 times last year, and ended 57.4% of his plate appearances without making contact (walk or strikeout). He’s entering his age-31 season, and doesn’t have any projection or future upside left to untap. Peterson kind of is what he is at this point in his career.
Jace Peterson Back
With all that, the Brewers still liked Peterson and the versatility he brought the ball club and announced they had signed him back to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training after being non-tendered last month.
There’s really no risk in this, since it’s just a minor league deal and Peterson can be stashed in Triple-A Nashville. But it’s weird that a player who’s only success came when he didn’t swing the bat would be brought back.
Peterson is certainly not in the plans to be the starting third baseman in 2021, where the Brewers need the most help. He can play there, just like Daniel Robertson and Mark Mathias, but none of those guys are starter quality.
As weird as it may seem with Peterson and Robertson being the first two signings here in January with both of them being third basemen, the Brewers haven’t made their actual move yet to answer the third base question.
There has to be something else coming down the line, so don’t worry too much about the Brewers not doing anything to address third base or first base yet. The order the players get signed doesn’t really matter, what matters is that they get signed at some point before the season starts.
The utility depth the Brewers have is remarkable, with Peterson, Robertson, Mathias, and Billy McKinney among the group. Not all of these players will be able to make the roster, and not all of them should. The Brewers have plenty of competition for the backup spots, which is great and all, but they will need some bona fide starters at some point.
Don’t panic just yet about the Brewers not having the bona fide starters. Those moves will come, but in the meantime, they brought back Jace Peterson.