Bryan Petersen: A Marlin’s year in review

In the second part of my interview with Miami Marlins outfielder Bryan Petersen, we talk about the organization’s offseason as well as some highlights from his season in the Majors.

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Bryan Petersen (left) and Mike Stanton stretch before batting practice. // Photo by Christina De Nicola

Bryan Petersen (left) and Mike Stanton stretch before batting practice. // Photo by Christina De Nicola

 

2011 was a breakthrough year for Bryan Petersen.

Although the 25-year-old started the season in Triple-A New Orleans, where he would earn Pacific Coast League All-Star honors by batting .351 with 11 homers and 26 RBIs in 67 games, he was called back up to The Show to stay in early July. (He did see limited big-league action in May.)

With nagging injuries to Logan Morrison (knee) and Mike Stanton (hamstring), as well as the dismissal of Mike Cameron, Petersen took advantage of the chance to play on an almost daily basis, something he didn’t get in his previous call-ups. 

In 74 games, Petersen hit .265 with a .357 on-base percentage, two homers, 10 RBIs and seven stolen bases. As a pinch-hitter, he was 7-for-15 (.467) with a homer, three RBIs and three runs. 

Petersen pitched a scoreless inning of relief in mop-up duty against the Padres on July 20, becoming the first Marlins position player to do so since Ross Gload on May 20, 2009. He knocked his first homer — a pinch-hit two-run shot — on Aug. 7 off Cardinals pitcher Mitchell Boggs. His walkoff solo blast in the second-to-last game of the season gave Javier Vazquez a complete-game victory in his swan song.

“I think overall just being able to go to the big leagues and succeed off what I did last year,” Petersen said of what stood out most. “Just to come back and compete and do better. I think that’s a big thing from a mental standpoint for confidence.”

Now, Petersen is like many around baseball, impressed by what the Marlins accomplished at the Winter Meetings in Dallas by signing free agents Heath Bell, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle. 

Though he was overseas visiting U.S. troops with other members of the organization, he stayed up-to-date on the latest Hot Stove news via Twitter. 

“It’s crazy,” Petersen said. “You always hear the rumors and stuff, but for them to go out there and pull the trigger is awesome. To get that type of talent and play for us, it’s big, it’s huge. It moves the Marlins to a whole different category.”

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As 2011 comes to a close, I thought it appropriate to ask Petersen for some of his favorite things of 2011. Here is what he came up with:

End of the Year List 

1) “180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless” (documentary)

2) “Restrepo” (documentary)

3) Pat Summitt’s Reach for the Summit: The Definite Dozen System for Succeeding at Whatever You Do

4) Jon Krakauer’s Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman 

5) NEEDTOBREATHE (music)

6) tomorrow might be dead (Petersen’s blog)

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