CARBONDALE — Tristan Peters, the highest-drafted Saluki since pitcher Sam Coonrod went in the fifth round in 2014, is headed to the pros.
Peters has informed SIU coach Lance Rhodes he will not return to the team this fall. The sophomore outfielder was drafted by Milwaukee in the seventh round earlier this month. Peters was one of the best all-around players in the Missouri Valley Conference in his only season at SIU, batting a team-best .355 in 60 starts. The 6-foot, 180-pound center fielder from Winkler, Manitoba, Canada led the Valley in on-base percentage (.463), walks (46) and doubles (20). Peters was third in the Valley in RBIs (55), fourth in stolen bases (14), fifth in hitting, sixth in runs scored (53) and didn't commit an error. He hit six home runs and two triples.
Peters may have to work on throwing pros out from the outfield, but will bring a very disciplined bat to wherever the Brewers send him once they agree to terms, Rhodes said. Peters had nearly twice as many walks (46) as strikeouts (28) in 217 at-bats last season for the 40-20 Salukis.
"The biggest thing for him is just the fact he can really, really hit," Rhodes said. "I think they value his hitting tool above everything, and he can run above average, too. A guy that has the plate discipline that he has, packed with the bat-to-ball skills, is probably what they're going on."
Peters, 21, did not immediately return a message from The Southern Illinoisan on Tuesday night, but he told a television affiliate in Savannah, Georgia, where he played this summer, that he intended to leave for the pros if he was drafted. Peters' salary slot in the seventh round is more than $210,000 according to Major League Baseball.
Peters told WSAV-TV in Savannah he was laying on a couch at a local coffee shop downtown when he found out the Brewers had taken him.
"I was just trying to stay relaxed, but I obviously wasn’t," Peters said. "I was super nervous just lying on the couch waiting for a phone call."
The Brewers have four different Rookie ball affiliates, two in the Arizona Complex League and two in the Dominican Summer League. Milwaukee's Class A affiliate is the Carolina Mudcats in Zebulon, North Carolina, east of Raleigh. The Brewers' Class A Advanced affiliate is the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in Appleton.
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