Growing up as a baseball fan, David Peterson said he didn’t have any particular connection with the New York Mets other than seeing them occasionally on national television.
He’ll have plenty of time to get better acquainted with the franchise now that he’s officially part of it.
Peterson, a Regis Jesuit High School graduate, was the Mets’ No. 1 pick in the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and he officially became a part of the club July 7. New York inked the left-handed pitcher out of the University of Oregon just before the deadline for draft picks to sign, giving him the recommended draft slot value for the No. 20 pick of $2,994,500.
Peterson has been assigned to New York’s Class A affiliate in Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League, though the 21-year-old is not expected to throw many innings this summer because of his high inning count at Oregon in the spring.
In 100 1/3 innings with the Ducks, Peterson struck out 140 batters — including a school-record 20 in a game against Arizona State — and finished with an 11-4 record and 2.51 ERA. The 6-foot-6 southpaw’s tools include a fastball that reaches as high as 94 miles per hour to go with a slider clocked regularly in the mid-80s.
“He had just a tremendous year this year,” Mets vice president of amateur scouting Tommy Tanous told MLB.com on Draft day. “He’s one of those players, one of those pitchers that you feel like every time you see him pitch, he kept getting better.”
Just after he was drafted, Peterson told the Sentinel he was thrilled to be closer to the dream of playing professional baseball he’d had since he was 3 years old.
At Regis Jesuit, Peterson helped the Raiders win the Class 5A state championship as a freshman and also got to play under the guidance of Walt Weiss, a former MLB player who went on to manage the Colorado Rockies after he left Regis Jesuit. Peterson’s co-ace at Regis Jesuit in 2012, Peter Bayer, got drafted in the ninth round by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016 out of Cal Poly Pomona.
Bayer, 23, is currently with the Bowling Green Hot Rods at the full season A level in the Rays’ system and had a 2-1 record with a 4.86 ERA as of July 10.