Third baseman D.J. Peterson continues to validate his status as the Mariners’ top non-pitching prospect.
Baseball America selected Peterson as the No. 8 prospect in the Double-A Southern League on Monday after previously citing him as the No. 10 prospect in the High-A California League.
Peterson, 22, opened the season at High-A High Desert before getting promoted in late June to Double-A Jackson. He batted a combined .297 average in 123 games with 31 homers and 111 RBIs.
“Peterson can turn around any pitcher’s fastball with a quick, buggy-whip swing (that) produces consistent, loud contact,” Baseball America reported. “He doesn’t swing and miss excessively for a hitter with plus-power.”
Baseball America also identified Mariners infielder Ketel Marte as the No. 15 prospect in the Southern League.
Marte, 21, batted .302 with two homers and 46 RBIs in 109 games at Jackson before batting .313 with two homers in 19 games at Triple-A Tacoma.
“Marte has feel for contact from both sides of the plate,” Baseball America reported, “with a handsy swing that enables him to manipulate the barrel and line the ball to all fields.
“He won’t hit for more than gap power, but plus-speed will ensure he racks up his share of doubles and triples to go with a healthy quantity of stolen bases.”
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, the brother of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, was picked by Baseball America as the Southern League’s No. 3 prospect. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was No. 1.
The Mariners recently chose Peterson, their first-round pick in 2013, as their co-minor league player of the year with first baseman/outfielder Jordy Lara.
Peterson was one of six minor league players to finish with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs. He is currently playing for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League, where he is 3-for-13 with four walks in four games.
WALKER STRONG AGAIN
Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker delivered his second consecutive strong start Monday for Surprise in the Arizona Fall League, yielding one run and two hits over five innings in a 7-4 loss to Salt River.
Walker struck out six and walked two in a 77-pitch effort.
His outing followed a four-inning start on Oct. 7 in which he gave up one run and five hits while striking out five and walking none. He turned over leads in both games before settling for no-decisions.
Infielder Gabriel Noriega is off to a fast start in the Venezuelan Winter League after batting .281 in 101 games at Tacoma.
Noriega, 24, is 5-for-14 in four games, through Sunday, for the Lara Cardinals. The Mariners signed Noriega, a Venezuelan, as a non-drafted free agent in 2007.
The Mariners face a decision on Noriega, who will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft if not added to the 40-man roster prior to the Nov. 20 deadline.
Sanchez was 7-6 with a 4.19 ERA this season in 23 starts at Jackson after entering the season ranked by Baseball America as the Mariners’ No. 7 overall prospect.