R.J. Peace will be starting his fifth season in the Miami Marlins system in 2019.
Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 224 of 286.
Robert Dale Peace Jr. is a 6’2″, 175 lb. right-handed pitcher from San Diego, California, population 1.42 million. 113 major leaguers have originated out of the city, including Stephen Strasburg, Corey Oswalt, and Cole Hamels.
Peace was born on June 24th, 1997, and attended Serrano HS in Phelan, CA. In 2015, the Miami Marlins chose him in the 13th round of the MLB Amateur Entry Draft. Here he is pitching for Serrano, courtesy of The Prospect Pipeline.
Chosen 386th off the board, if Peace makes it to the majors he’ll be the fourth to advance that far after getting selected at the spot. He would join Lance Niekro (1997, Philadelphia Phillies, 0.4 WAR), Antoan Richardson (2004, Arizona Diamondbacks, 0.3 WAR), Ty Kelly (2009, Baltimore Orioles, 0.2 WAR), and Kevin McGowan (2013, New York Mets, 0.0 WAR).
After coming to terms for a $370,000 signing bonus, Peace joined the GCL Marlins, in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. In 30 2/3 innings, Peace struck out 19 and registered a 2.64 ERA with a 1.435 WHIP.
Peace spent most of the 2016 campaign in the Batavia Muckdogs in the short-season-A New York-Penn League. Overall, he struck out 20 while again pitching 30 2/3 innings, with a 2.93 ERA and an enviable 1.043 WHIP. Most impressively, Peace only walked six batters. He would remain another season with the Muckdogs in 2017, increasing his K/9 rated from 5.9 in 2016 to 9.5 in 2017. More precisely, he struck out 34 in 32 1/3 innings, with a 1.299 WHIP and a 4.18 ERA.
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Peace began the 2018 season promoted to the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League. While at the higher level, Peace kept his walk rate to a respectable 3.8 per nine innings, but surrendered 15 earned runs in 14 1/3 innings for a 9.42 ERA over 11 relief appearances. Frustratingly, he was relegated back to the Muckdogs for a start on June 18th.
In four starts after rejoining Batavia, Peace was 2-0 with a 4.12 ERA, and 22 K’s in 19 2/3 innings, along with a 1.169 WHIP. On June 29th, he struck out seven over five innings, allowing one run on three hits in a 3-1 loss to the Auburn Doubledays. Sent back to the Grasshoppers on August 23rd, he was returned to the GCL Marlins the next day, and didn’t again appear in a game through the 2018 campaign.
Peace has done everything he can at the short-season-A level with Batavia, but needs to prove himself at the higher level with the single-A Clinton LumberKings in the Midwest League to stick around in 2019. Currently assigned with GCL, it’s important to remember that Peace is still only 21-years-old, and should be given at a minimum this season to prove himself.
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