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  • The Brewers' Secret Super Utility Knife is ...

    Kyle Ginsbach

    Jace Peterson has been around for a while. He’s a former top prospect who never truly panned out, and didn’t have a real home until he landed in Milwaukee. Now that he’s here though, Peterson has made himself more than comfortable.

    Image courtesy of © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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    When Jace Peterson joined the Brewers as a free agent prior to the 2020 season, you'd be hard pressed to find any noise being made about the deal. Since then, Peterson has slowly grown into Craig Counsell's super utility role, where he firmly finds himself now. He plugs the holes whenever or wherever needed, and can mimic most of the lost production.

    Unlike other players classified as utility players, Peterson isn’t an everyday player who happens to be able to play multiple positions, he’s a bench player you can call on at a moment's notice. There are players like the Yankees DJ LeMahieu, a star who you can slide over to other infield slots in a pinch, but LeMahieu lacks the versatility of players like Peterson.

    The bulk of Peterson’s value comes from his ability to play multiple positions, but as fans may know, he provides value with the bat in his hands too. Peterson’s batting statistics - .236/.338/.381 - may not jump out at you, but he didn’t earn the nickname “On-Base-Jace” for nothing. His ability to lengthen plate appearances has caught the eye of fans, and it shows, as Peterson boasts a walk rate north of 11% in his career. And while Peterson isn’t known for the thunder in his bat, he’s popped 6 home runs so far in 2022, and gotten his fair share of clutch hits. 

    Perhaps the most valuable part of Peterson’s game that’s blossomed this year is his defense. If you’ve tuned into games this year you’ve heard Brewer’s color commentator Bill Schroeder rave about the defensive value he’s provided the Crew this year. With the bulk of the playing time coming at 2nd and 3rd base, Peterson has quickly risen up the ranks of defensive metrics with playing time at both positions. His 6 OAA puts him near the top of the league with names like Tommy Edman and Manny Machado, and ahead of former Gold Glovers such as Harrison Bader and Matt Chapman

    With players like the aforementioned Edman missing out on All Star votes due to their utility status, talks about a utility spot in the All-Star game have begun to pop up. Whether On-Base-Jace is deserving of that hypothetical spot or not, he's certainly deserving of some kind of praise. While Peterson might not be the best utility player in the business, he might be the best kept secret among them. 

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    17 minutes ago, BallFour said:

    I wonder what a Jace extension would cost.

    Not much. He's well below where a super-utility like Marwin Gonzalez sat when he entered FA and he only received something like 3/$24m.

    I suspect Peterson would accept a one-year deal but do not see anyone offering him more than two years, at maybe $4-5m per year.

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