With the 13th-overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners selected D.J. Peterson, a third baseman from the University of New Mexico.
Hearing your name in the draft is what every kid wants to hear growing up, and on that day in 2013, D.J. Peterson had his dream come true.
"It's something you work for, it's something you dream about," Peterson said. "I never thought I'd be a first rounder, especially growing up. I just went to college and worked my tail and that's kind of what happened. The numbers spoke for itself and I got the privilege of being drafted that high.
With the high draft position and any really with draft position, comes pressure and scrutiny from the organization and from the fanbase. Being a first rounder though, provides extra scrutiny especially when being drafted by a team who has struggled for quite a long time.
"Always," he said. "There's pressures no matter what round you are drafted. This game is such a small lived window you have to make your dream come true for anyone. Doesn't matter if your a first rounder, third rounder or fortieth rounder there's a pressure for everyone."
Out of the gate, Peterson was red hot in his first year in the Mariners organization. A freak injury from a beanball to the face though ended his first season prematurely.
"It's always in the back of your head about the injury, when you go through six injuries and spend 20-plus days in the hospital it's always in the back of your mind," Peterson added. "It hasn't really deterred from my play though, I still gotta go out there and work and step in the box and sometimes things don't happen the way you want it to."
Back to back years, the year hasn't started the way Peterson has wanted with his numbers not being ideal through the first couple months of the year. Last year, Peterson got hot enough to be promoted from Jackson to Tacoma, and this year he has slowly raised his batting average to .244 while hitting six home runs and driving in 30 runs.
"I think it was Dustin Pedroia that said a couple years ago, your season’s not doing good, you're hitting .190, what's going on, what's going with your swing," Peterson said. "It's like a laser show out there, just haven't found the holes. I feel like I've been doing a good job this year, definitely could get the strikeouts down but I've been able to put a lot of balls in play and barrel up a lot of balls just not a lot of success to show for it.