Peterson brothers both go on Day 1 of Draft
Mariners take older D.J. 12th overall, while Padres grab Dustin at No. 50
As a little brother, it makes sense that Dustin Peterson would follow his older sibling.
That's exactly what happened Thursday night in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Big brother D.J. Peterson, a college third baseman out of New Mexico, was the 12th overall pick by the Mariners. Dustin, a shortstop from Gilbert (Ariz.) High School, went to the Padres in the second round at pick No. 50.
"It's unbelievable," D.J. Peterson said. "He's my best friend and my brother. We've shared more moments than anyone I know, and I just feel very blessed to be doing this with him and having him by my side. I'm very fortunate to have a little brother as talented as him."
The brothers, who are three years apart, twice wrapped each other in emotional embraces, as they watched the Draft on television with a large contingent of family and friends.
The first came when the Mariners nabbed D.J. one spot before the Padres were due to make their first selection of the night. Seattle had taken D.J. in the 33rd round in 2010, but he opted to attend New Mexico. He became the highest Draft pick in program history after earning All-American honors for the second straight year, hitting .408 with 18 home runs and 72 RBIs.
The Petersons had a chance to join J.D. and Tim Drew (1997) as brothers drafted in the first round in the same year, but it wasn't to be.
The wait was on for Dustin, an Arizona State commit. The Padres had scouted both him and D.J. and noticed the family resemblance, at least as far as skill set.
"I think one big similarity is we think they both can hit," Padres director of scouting Billy Gasparino said. "We like both brothers, and we think both can hit for power. So I think that was the one big similarity we were attracted to.
"As far as body types, they're a little different. Position could be the same, but we like both a lot. We're excited for the older brother. We think it was a really good pick in front of us. We were excited even more to get the little brother."
When the MLB Network broadcast finally revealed that San Diego had picked Dustin, the entire room erupted in celebration. The brothers shared another warm embrace as they struggled to keep their emotions in check, a scene that Padres general manager Josh Byrnes described as "pretty neat."
"It happens a lot in baseball, we have the Ross brothers [Tyson and Joe]," Byrnes said, "but obviously we've gotten to know the [Peterson] family well, and that was a pretty neat moment for the brothers and the family."
For Dustin, the waiting was a stressful experience, but one his older brother helped ease.
"It was a lot getting through this night," Dustin said on MLB Network. "My brother helped me out. Getting looks, we're very blessed."