We’re back to playing baseball! After three days off for the All-Star Break, the Generals are back at it. The team started the Second Half in Chattanooga, dropping three of five. It’s only the fourth time that the team has lost a series this season.
One of the bright spots was D.J. Peterson, who is having himself quite a season. In five games against the Lookouts, D.J. went 9-for-18 with a pair of home runs and seven RBI. That continues a stellar month of June for Peterson. Coming into the team’s series against Mississippi, Peterson is hitting .326 over 24 June games with six home runs, eight doubles, 16 RBI and a 1.005 OPS. Overall, D.J. finds himself just two shy of Tyler O’Neill for the team lead with 11 home runs.
There were questions about D.J. after he struggled in 2015 with the Generals. The 12th overall pick in the 2013 draft hit just .223 in 92 games. All of a sudden, he wasn’t a top prospect. 2016 would be his third-straight year with Jackson. In a way, it was make-or-break. Peterson has shown that he is more than capable of being the guy everyone thought he’d be.
I had the chance to speak with him about his resurgence in 2016, playing in the same league as his younger brother Dustin and more recently for our pregame show.
Jim Pankovits was in town for the team’s last series in Chattanooga. The new front office in Seattle is giving each staff member the chance to take a series off this season, so manager Daren Brown was able to to spend some time with his family in Texas. Pankovits served as the hitting coach while Roy Howell reprised his role as manager.
Pank was at the helm in 2012, the best team Jackson had seen as a Mariners’ affiliate before this year. That team had 16 future major leaguers and made it all the way to the Southern League championship series. I spoke with him about that team, the new front office and what he likes so much about the 2016 squad in West Tennessee.
In other news, rosters for the 2016 Futures Game were released today. Pitcher Dylan Unsworth and outfielder Tyler O’Neill will both play for the World Team Sunday, July 10 in San Diego. The game, which is part MLB’s All-Star festivities, will be televised nationally via the MLB Network.
— Jackson Generals (@jacksongenerals) June 28, 2016
Great honor for both. No surprise that O’Neill will be participating. I’m very happy for Unsworth. Has dominated when healthy this year, and he has found new life with the new front office. The guy just attacks hitters, and that has put him in this position.
Generals kick off a big series starting Wednesday against Dansby Swanson and the Mississippi Braves. There are fireworks both Saturday and Sunday night for Independence Day in addition to a Kids’ Camp and a Dollar Night on Thursday!