Jace Peterson – Atlanta Braves
Peterson appeared in 152 games in 2015, hitting .239/.314/.335 with 126 hits, 23 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 55 runs, 52 RBIs, 12 stolen bases (22 attempts), 56 walks, and 120 strikeouts with an OPS+ of 82 over 597 plate appearances.
After tearing a tendon in his thumb in May of last season, Jace Peterson decided to finish out the year by opting not to get surgery. Instead, he held down the second base position for the entire season amidst Atlanta’s 95-loss campaign, putting together the first full season of his young career. He spent the first two months of this offseason in a cast to help heal his thumb, but is expected to be at full strength by spring training.
Newly-signed veterans Kelly Johnson and Gordon Beckham, while brought on to the club in order to add depth on the bench, will certainly put more pressure on Peterson to succeed in the starting role in 2016. While he ranks among the best second basemen in the league in the field, his offensive production in 2015 was less than spectacular.
With Atlanta bringing in a haul of new prospects through the trades of Shelby Miller and Andrelton Simmons, Peterson’s time as a starter could be running out if he cannot perform in 2016. The impending move of one of Atlanta’s top shortstop prospects Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies across the infield will add to the pressure as Peterson is given one last chance to prove that he can play every day.
Next: #4 Second Baseman in the NL East