Another Table-Setter




FORT LAUDERDALE—National League rookie of the year Chris Coghlan wasn't the only player in the organization who made a successful transition to the leadoff spot in 2009. Outfielder Bryan Petersen proved a capable table-setter for Double-A Jacksonville, and he didn't slow down in the Arizona Fall League.

Petersen won player of the week honors for the Nov. 9-15 period after going 9-for-16 (.563) with a double, two triples, a homer, four runs, five RBIs and two steals for Mesa. He finished the fall batting .379/.412/.600 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 21 games.

"It was a blessing to be called by the Marlins to come out here," said Petersen, a fourth-round pick in 2007 out of UC Irvine. "From a hitting side, I wanted to stay as consistent as I could with my approach."

Petersen was consistent with the Suns, hitting .297/.368/.413 with seven homers and 49 RBIs. In 2008, the 6-foot, 200-pounder hit 23 homers over three levels, but neither Petersen nor minor league hitting coordinator John Mallee is concerned about the power dip.

"Obviously, it would be awesome if I could have repeated the power production I had in '08," Petersen said. "I just didn't feel like that was my role on the team. I don't look at the power not being there anymore. I'm still the same player."

Mallee said he projects Petersen could hit 15-20 homers in a full big league season.

"His swing has shortened up," Mallee said. "He's worked real hard on making sure he's more direct to the ball. He used to have some loop in it when he signed. He's a competitor. He's very professional. He's an above-average defender with an above-average arm. He can run. He's instinctive. He's smart. He's a big leaguer for me."

While in Jacksonville, Petersen saw time at all three outfield spots. He has enough range for center and enough arm for right, but long term the Marlins should be set at both spots with Cameron Maybin and top prospect Mike Stanton. Peterson next spring likely will get plenty of left field time along with fellow prospects John Raynor, Scott Cousins and possibly Logan Morrison if Jorge Cantu is back and earmarked for first base.

FISH BAIT

• President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said he expects lefthander Hunter Jones, acquired from the Red Sox in the Jeremy Hermida deal, to compete for a bullpen spot this spring.

• Lefty Jose Alvarez, the other player that came back for Hermida, was 1-0, 4.15 ERA through 12 relief appearances for Caribes in the Venezuelan League.