The upper levels of the New York Mets’ farm system are thin on pitching, but there is another wave coming in the low minors. The Mets have invested each of their last three first round draft picks on starting pitchers, landing Justin Dunn and Anthony Kay (both previously featured in Minor League Mondays) in 2016 and Oregon left hander David Peterson last season. Peterson, who emerged as a dominant starter in his final year with the Ducks, is the focus of this week’s edition of Minor League Mondays.
The Mets didn’t give Peterson a ton of work in the minors last season due to his heavy workload with Oregon. Peterson cameoed for the Brooklyn Cyclones, pitching only 3.2 innings over three “starts”. The Mets assigned Peterson to the Low-A Columbia Fireflies for his first full season as a professional, and he has responded well to the challenge of more advanced hitters. In four starts for the Fireflies, Peterson is 1-0 with a 2.28 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Peterson, who struck out 140 batters in 100 innings as a collegian in 2017, has continued piling up strikeouts so far this season. In 23.2 innings pitched for Columbia, Peterson has already racked up 21 K’s against only eight walks.
Scouts already love Peterson, who is ranked as the Mets’ second best prospect according to MLB.com’s rankings. Peterson’s fastball isn’t as electric as some of the Mets’ current starters, sitting in the low 90’s and topping out at 95 miles per hour, but it is still tough due to his impressive sink. The rest of Peterson’s arsenal is also solid, featuring a slider that can function as his out pitch and an above average change up. MLB.com’s scouting report believes in Peterson’s floor, which is likely as a 3 or 4 starter at the big league level, rather than his ceiling. The Mets would be thrilled if Peterson can hit that potential, giving them a quality third starter behind Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom down the line.
The Mets probably envisioned having Peterson spend most of the year with Columbia, but if he continues to thrive against Sally league hitters that could change. Peterson may be in line for a mid-season promotion to High-A St. Lucie, where he would presumably finish the season. There is still a ways for Peterson to go in terms of his development, but he is certainly an intriguing prospect for the Mets going forward.