Shortened season aside, Regis Jesuit High School graduate David Peterson has put himself in position to be one phone call from the major leagues.
The 6-foot-6 left-hander posted a 4.19 ERA in 24 starts for the New York Mets Double-A Binghamton team last year before playing in the Arizona Fall League. He was in his second big-league camp as a nonroster invitee when action was suspended. If/when the season resumes, hell probably start the season in Triple-A Syracuse.
Last year was a good learning experience and definitely something I want to build off, Peterson said. I had a strong second half and a strong Arizona Fall League, and I wanted to take all that success I had and put it into spring training. My mind-set is about keeping the ball rolling on everything Ive put in.
Whether the 24-year-old will get a chance to test his mettle at the minors highest level in 2020 remains to be seen amid baseballs indefinite postponement because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But Peterson is no stranger to waiting for his moment. A broken leg suffered in a pickup basketball game cost him his senior year at Regis Jesuit and caused him to tumble in the draft to the 28th round. He ended up pitching at the University of Oregon instead, where a dominant junior season he was the first Duck in the modern era to earn consensus All-America honors led to the Mets selecting him No. 20 overall in 2017.
My whole junior year in college was affirmation for me that I was on the right track to where I want to be, which since Ive been 3 years old is the big leagues, Peterson said. My freshman and sophomore years (at Oregon), I had a good amount of learning to do and I had my ups and downs. But I feel like my junior year, all the work I put in came together and I showed the pitcher I can truly be.
Peterson throws two-seam and four-seam fastballs, both of which run in the low- to mid-90s, as well as a changeup (82-85 mph), slider (83-86) and curveball (77-81). He has put more emphasis lately on his curve, which he hopes develop into a more bona fide fourth pitch.
Im working on getting that to be more solid and more dependable of a pitch, and then also refining and continuing to master the three other pitches, he said.
So what are Petersons chances to crack the Mets rotation this season? Or at least get a cup of coffee in the bigs?
With Noah Syndergaard out for the year because of Tommy John surgery, New Yorks rotational depth at the big-league level has slimmed. If the Mets need another starter (or starters) at some point and if Peterson is performing well in Triple-A the southpaws potential addition to the teams 40-man roster, and subsequent debut, wouldnt be out of the question.
Peterson, now in Arizona working out and throwing, understands he cant get ahead of himself.
Im getting closer each year to achieving that goal, but I also have to stay in the present, continue to get better and show the Mets that I deserve a spot in that rotation, Peterson said.
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