July 10, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico third baseman DJ Peterson had quite the season in 2012. He became only the third player to ever win the Mountain West overall Triple Crown, he was named Co-Mountain West Player of the Year with teammate Mitchell Garver, and he was named a semifinalist for both the Dick Howser Trophy and the Golden Spikes Award. Now his success is carrying over into the summer.
Peterson currently leads USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team in runs (12) and RBIs (11) and is tied for the team lead in home runs with three long balls. He also ranks second on the team in total bases.
Team USA is made up of 22 of the best college players in the country, and just finished a five-game series against Cuba in Havana. Peterson managed three extra base hits against Cuba, including a pair of two-run homers, which accounted for a third of the home runs Team USA managed in the series. Peterson also recorded four walks and was hit by a pitch to finish the series with four RBIs and five runs scored.
"He represents the University of New Mexico at the highest level," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "(USA Baseball) selected him not only on his abilities but also on his character and that's a big deal."
Peterson is one of only four players to appear in all 10 games so far and leads Team USA in plate appearances. He is also tied for second on the team with five two-out RBIs.
Team USA also tracks more advanced stats, one of which is quality at bats. This encompasses many possibilities, from getting on base to advancing a runner to making the pitcher throw a lot of pitches, but Peterson is credited with 24, which also leads the team.
Another advanced stat Team USA tracks is the number of hard hit balls, either line drives or hard ground balls, that each player has. Peterson is credited with 16, which is twice as many as any other player on the team.
Peterson and Team USA next travel to the Netherlands for an international tournament during the Honkbal-Haarlem Baseball Week beginning July 14. They will face Japan, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Chinese Taipai, and the Netherlands.