Mets LHP prospect David Peterson has rounded into form lately while pitching for Double-A Binghamton, and the big lefty could be an option for the Mets' rotation in 2020...
Weight: 240 lbs
MLB Pipeline Mets Prospect Ranking: 5
2019 Statistics: 3.93 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 2-2 record in 36.2 innings pitched over eight starts while allowing 40 hits, 16 walks and striking out 43.
David Peterson was born in Los Angeles, California and spent the first 12 years of his life in the Southern California area. He then moved to Denver, Colorado where he spent the rest of his school years prior to college. He grew up as a multi-sport athlete playing basketball and football his freshman year of high school before committing to baseball full time.
Growing up, Peterson had always been average height and build amongst his peers until the eighth grade -- when he had a growth spurt and grew 10 inches. He went from being middle of the pack to being clearly the biggest person on the team. He really felt that he had something with baseball when as a freshman he made the varsity team and was able to get on the field.
Peterson didn't have to play freshman ball or junior varsity at all in high school. He broke his leg two weeks before his senior season, which limited him to only 25 innings, but was still drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 28th Round of the 2014 MLB Draft. But he decided to pursue college and re-try the draft in three years.
Growing up in California, Peterson was always a fan of Cal State Fullerton and wanted to play for Coach George Horton. Coach Horton moved on to The University of Oregon and during his junior year of high school, Peterson took a visit to Oregon and knew right away that was the place for him. Peterson had a successful three-year career at Oregon, highlighted by his junior season where he went 11-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 15 starts. He threw 100 innings and allowed only 88 hits and 15 walks while striking out 140.
Peterson entered the 2017 MLB Draft with a lot of expectation that he would go somewhere in the middle of the first round. He had not had a ton of communication with the Mets until draft day, and as it got closer to the Mets' pick at 20th overall he started to hear more. Peterson was sitting in the athletic department's cafeteria/dining hall on campus at Oregon where he had his whole family, coaching staff and teammates with him when it was announced that the Mets drafted him -- fulfilling a life-long dream.
With the Mets
Peterson quickly signed and was assigned to short-season A ball in Brooklyn. He had thrown 100 innings for Oregon so he basically didn't pitch much at all with Brooklyn, but was still able to experience the city and environment.
In 2018, the Mets somewhat surprisingly assigned him to Low-A Columbia which felt like a non-aggressive approach. Peterson quickly proved that he was ready to move up in the system after posting a 1.82 ERA in 59.1 innings for Columbia, and was promoted to High-A St Lucie for the remainder of the season. Peterson had inconsistent results with St. Lucie, which led to his ERA there being 4.33. However, he posted a 2.53 ERA in June and a 2.93 ERA in August. He struggled in July with an 8.05 ERA. It was a good sign that when the league adjusted to him, he was able to adjust back and finish strong.
The strong end to Peterson's 2018 campaign led to him getting to start the 2019 season with Double-A Binghamton. He had a rough start on April 29 where he allowed seven earned runs in 1.2 innings against Akron, but otherwise he has been tremendous. In his last four starts since the outing against Akron, Peterson has thrown 20.2 innings allowing 19 hits, six walks and striking out 27 while posting a miniscule 1.31 ERA. Peterson has been roommates with fellow top prospect Anthony Kay for as long as he has been in pro ball and they have a friendly competition going on just pushing each other to be better. Peterson has made big strides in 2019 and has really reestablished himself as a future big league starter.
Repertoire and Future
Peterson possesses a five-pitch mix including a four-seam and two-seam fastball that will sit in the 89-92 mph range and can reach as high as 94 mph. The secondary pitch he uses most to put away hitters is his slider that he throws in the 82-86 mph range. Peterson also throws a circle changeup in the low 80's and can spin a curveball in the 76-79 mph range.
Peterson's build and easily repeatable delivery makes it easy envision him being able to be a workhorse type starter. Coming out of the draft I had heard some comparisons to former White Sox lefty Mark Buehrle. I believe Peterson has a ceiling of a No. 3 or No. 4 starter that you can rely on to provide a lot of innings consistently. He doesn't quite have the ETA of later this summer like Kay does, but I absolutely foresee him becoming a legitimate rotation option for the Mets during the 2020 season.