LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Braves outfield prospect Dustin Peterson had surgery Friday for a broken hamate bone in his left hand and is expected to be sidelined for about eight weeks.
It was an abrupt end to a promising spring training for Peterson, a line-drive hitter who impressed Braves officials to such a degree that there’d been talk that he could be considered for a major league bench job as soon as this summer.
Peterson, 22, was injured while batting Wednesday in a Grapefruit League game against the New York Yankees. He had surgery to remove the hook of the hamate bone, a fairly common injury among hitters. Compression caused from the bat knob during a swing can break the bone, which usually requires six to nine weeks of rehab following surgery.
Peterson was the Braves’ minor league player of the year in 2016 after batting .282 with 12 home runs, 38 doubles, 88 RBIs and a .774 OPS in 132 games for Double-A Mississippi. He was 3-for-10 in four Grapefruit League games this spring.
A former third baseman in the Padres’ minor league system, Peterson was switched to left field after being traded to the Braves in December 2014, one of four prospects they got in exchange for Justin Upton. He played almost exclusively in left field last season, but also played four games in center at Mississippi and got some time in right field during the Arizona Fall League, where Peterson hit .324 with seven extra-base hits and an .823 OPS in 18 games.