Petty is having a great season, slashing .346/.418/.527 for the Blaze, and looking like a guy who, at 25 years old, may be starting to develop into his talent after playing four years at Division II Cal. University of Pennsylvania, and then a season in the Australian Baseball League (where he led the league with 14 home runs in 2015), all while moving from catcher to the outfield to first base. He was recently named to the Cal League All-Star team, and he showcased his talents against San Jose in last weekend’s four-game series, going 9-for-18 with two home runs and five RBIs.
A tall, lean-muscled athlete with tree trunks for legs, Petty is an above-average hitter who showed above-average power and surprising speed for a guy of his size (4.36 HP-to-1B) He stands tall with a quiet, simple setup and has strong, quick hands that produce a swing with natural lift. His swing will lead to him striking out a bit (around 24% for his career), but his pitch selection was good, and from the stats it looks like he’s learning to be more selective. During my views of Petty last weekend, the ball jumped off his bat when he got his hands extended. He turned a 95 mph fastball into deep left center one game, and crushed another to left field in the second game. He has eight homers so far this season to go along with 19 doubles, so it looks like he’s made some adjustments to his swing allowing him to utilize that natural lift, matching it with his strength and size.
In the field, he’s comfortable at first and moves well to both his glove and arm side. He showcased a good feel around the bag, and soft hands on a couple balls in the dirt. He’s played some outfield in his career, but is best suited as a first baseman. But his overall defensive flexibility could help him develop into a utility guy who could come off the bench with some pop. If he continues to hit the way he has, the Mariners shouldn’t waste any time moving him up to test him against more advanced pitching.