The draft is upon us! We are here! It’s time to do the draft boogaloo!
Round 1, Pick #20. Draft Slot Value $2,994,500
Name: David Peterson
Scouting Reports: Per Baseball America,
“Peterson was a Top 100 prospect out of a Denver high school thanks to a projectable 6-foot-6 frame, ability to sink his fastball that reached 91 mph and flashes of above-average changeup and slider. A broken right fibula delayed the start of his prep senior season, and the 28th-round pick (Red Sox) didn’t sign, instead heading to Oregon. He proved durable in his first two seasons and pitched for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team last summer, but Peterson didn’t take off until 2017, when he hit it off with new pitching coach Jason Dietrich. Peterson was leading the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio in early May and had six double-digit strikeout games, including 17 against Mississippi State and 20 in late April against Arizona State. Peterson has improved his fastball velocity (up to 94 mph early in games) and command this season. He pitches at around 91 mph. His quieter delivery features better direction to the plate this year and a bit more deception, eliciting swings-and-misses from his fastball. His slider earns plus grades from some scouts, and at times he’ll back-foot right-handed hitters with it all night until they adjust. Then he can locate an average curveball to mix things up, and scouts like his above-average changeup, though he doesn’t use it much. One Pac-12 coach called it his best pitch, with plus tumble and fade, and it allows Peterson to go arm-side with his fastball and change, then glove-side with the slider, slicing up the plate and flummoxing hitters. Peterson stays out of the middle of the plate, pitches with angle and gets ground balls when he isn’t striking out loads of hitters. He has solid athleticism that allows him to repeat his improved delivery, even as he’s filled out physically from 213 pounds as a prep senior to a listed 235 at Oregon. Peterson had pitched his way into the first round.”
Oregon lefty David Peterson punched out 140 batters and walked just 15 this year in a dominant season that took him into consideration in the teens, maybe the edges of the Top ten, and the Mets have to be pumped to get him at pick 20 given his performance and huge groundball rate.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Curveball: 40 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 60 | Overall: 55
When Peterson was coming out of the Colorado high school ranks in 2014, he was a raw, projectable left-hander with arm strength, but with undeveloped secondary stuff and fringy command. Three years later, after working with Oregon pitching coach Jason Dietrich, he is looking like the more complete pitcher scouts who saw him in high school envisioned.
Much of Peterson’s success stems from his fastball-slider combination. He’ll throw his fastball in the 89-94 mph range and backs it up with an above-average slider that flashes plus at times. He effectively mixes in an average changeup and will throw a below-average curveball as a “get me over for strike one” type offering. While he’s still refining his overall command within the zone, his control has been tremendous, keeping his walk rate at a miniscule level as a junior.
Over the summer, Peterson’s stuff was somewhat ordinary pitching out of the U.S. Collegiate National Team’s bullpen. But the 6-foot-6, 240-pound southpaw, with a strong and durable build made for starting, has seen his stuff tick up this spring. That, along with a performance reflecting those improvements, has put an up arrow next to his name as the Draft nears.
Command will be the key to Peterson’s success at the next level, but in college, he’s been beating hitters with his low to mid 90’s fastball with plus sink and arm-side run, helping him work away from right-handed hitters. The southpaw likes to work inside on lefties with his fastball, allowing the run and sink to break back into the zone, jamming hitters or making them stare at strikes on the inner half. Working from a low 3/4 arm slot, Peterson has shown good movement on all his pitches, with his fastball being the best of his trio. His best off-speed offering is his above-average low 80’s changeup that he works against both righties and lefties. He works in a big-breaking curveball with a dipping break that he’s shown a feel for, but still needs to be refined.
Kevin Lauro: Definitely would have taken a bat here, but I don’t mind it. He had some VERY good numbers at Oregon and could easily be fast-tracked as a 3rd/4th Starter, which with injuries, could be very beneficial to this team. We’ll see how this pick plays out for us!
Teddy Klein: I think he is interesting, and polished, and could be in the majors within a couple years. Solid Pick.
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