July 27, 2013 by Wayne McBrayer with contributions & photos by Rebecca Herman
ON THE FARM AT LAKE ELSINORE
~~WITH JACE PETERSON, JULY 3, 2013~~
We had been watching Jace Peterson all season and had hoped to interview him on two prior trips to Lake Elsinore but it just hadn’t worked out. But as they say, the third time is the charm! While watching BP this visit, we asked him if he might be available for an interview when he finished and he was more than happy to meet with us.
Jace Peterson is an athlete who has excelled at basketball, football, and baseball; however, baseball was always his first love. Growing up in Louisiana, he loved playing baseball with his family and friends. His fondest memories of baseball growing up were “just waking up and playing in the yard with my brothers and all the friends in the neighborhood.” He started out playing Dixie Youth; “it’s the same type deal as Little League but it’s called something different so I started playing Dixie Youth at 6.”
As a kid, he followed the Houston Astros and admired Craig Biggio; “He was close and played for Houston so it wasn’t but 2 hours from my house and I would go watch him play. I just like the way he played the game, I like the way he went about it on and off the field and that’s who I looked up to most when I was a kid.”
Jace attended Hamilton Christian High School and earned all-state honors in basketball; was a 2-time defensive player of the year in football racking, up 76 solo tackles, 23 assists, two forced fumbles, two pass break ups and eight interceptions – one of which he returned for a touchdown; and in baseball he was an excellent pitcher and infielder.
McNeese State took note and recruited him which gave him the opportunity to play at home. Head football coach Matt Viator said of Jace, “We are very excited to add Jace to our 2008 signing class. He is a great athlete who will play both football and baseball.” This is exactly what Jace did. He played 3 years on the football team at cornerback with his career highlight being a sack of LSU Jordan Jefferson. On the play, Jefferson fumbled the ball, which was recovered on the 5 by McNeese State and they scored a couple of plays later to take a 7-0 lead, although LSU ended up winning the game 32-10. Take a look at a video of the sack HERE
During his junior year leading up to the draft, Jace hit.335 and led the Southland Conference with 67 runs scored and eight triples. He also stole 30 bases and set the school all-time record with 78 stolen bases. When the 58th pick of the 2008 draft came, the San Diego Padres selected Jace and he hung the pads up for good and opted for baseball. It was a proud day for Jace who told us it was his “proudest accomplishment just getting drafted, that was a dream come true for me. I have always wanted to play professional baseball when I was little, so that is probably the biggest accomplishment that I have at this point and I hope I can reach some more.”
The Padres sent Jace to A- Eugene Emeralds where he hit .243 with 9 2B, 5 3B, 2 HRs 27 RBIs, 48 runs scored, and 39 stolen bases. “Any time I am on base I like to run, so that is definitely a big asset of my game.” The Padres promoted Jace to Fort Wayne TinCaps where his batting average improved to .286 with 23 2B, 9 3B, 2 HRs, 48 RBIs, 78 runs scored and 51 stolen bases and playing a solid SS.
Heading into the 2013 season, Jace worked on every aspect of his game. “I wanted to get better defensively, offensively, and running the bases. I really wanted to improve my overall game and I want to continue to get better and continue to work.” This year at A Lake Elsinore Storm Jace is hitting .294 with 14 2B, 11 3B, 6 HRs, 55 RBIs, 67 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases. Seems his hard work has been paying off!
For a current and complete look at his stats, CLICK HERE.
Jace is a great guy with a lot of talent and he appears to be headed to Petco Park within the next couple of years. We look forward to seeing him there!
In the meanwhile, be sure to connect with Jace ….
Interview & Story by Wayne McBrayer, TheCasualFan
Editing & Photography by Rebecca Herman, TheBaseballPHD