Minors | General | 10/31/2019

Peterson part of bright future

Stephanie Wakefield        
Photo: David Peterson (Stephanie Wakefield)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Every kid dreams of playing in the big leagues one day, but not every kid gets that opportunity.

For one future Mets pitcher, however, his childhood dream is becoming a reality.

“As far back as I can remember, the only thing I've ever wanted to do is play in the major leagues, so I think once I got older and realized the talent that I had it became more of a reality, but it's always been my number one dream and number one goal,” said David Peterson.

Peterson, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound lefthanded pitcher from Colorado, let his arm do the talking in the Arizona Fall League where he dominated on the mound. The 24-year old started his journey long before the Fall League during his 2015 freshman year at Oregon.

“When I got there my freshman year and I was in the starting rotation it, it gave me the confidence and the knowledge that I was good enough to play at that level” Peterson said. “So that was a big step for me, and then over the next two years just did a lot of growing up as a pitcher and as a player physically and mentally, growing into my body more coming from being an 18-year-old high school kid to 21-year-old junior getting drafted.”

Going from a freshman year where he set the Oregon school record for most strikeouts by a freshman with 81 over 82 innings pitched to a junior year where he finished the season 11-4 with a 2.51 ERA, something changed for Peterson and that something was the hiring of a new pitching coach.

“I think the biggest step for me from college to pro ball was my junior year when we hired Jason Dietrich as the pitching coach at Oregon, and I latched on to him right away and tried to spend as much time with him as I could and pick his brain because he had such a good reputation,” Peterson said. “I tried to get to know him as quickly as I could. We have a really good relationship and I talk to him all the time.”

The New York Mets used the 20th overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft to take Peterson, who wasn’t sure where he would land.

“I really didn't have a clue. It wasn't like before the draft that they were one of the top teams that I thought was going to take a chance on me. I had a meeting with the area scout, but there was nothing really more beyond that I didn't talk to any of the scouting directors or anything like that,” Peterson said.

After being drafted, Peterson worked his way through the minor league system where he finished the 2019 season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

“I'm very grateful for the opportunity that [the Mets have] given me, and I think I'm in a really good position,” said Peterson.

Peterson finished his 2019 season with 4.19 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, including 122 strikeouts in 116 innings pitched. He has pitched to the tune of a 3.46 ERA in the Fall League with 13 strikeouts in 13 innings, as well.

For Peterson, his journey to college and professional baseball started taking shape during his Perfect Game showcases and tournaments.

“Perfect Game was big for me growing up, going to showcases and playing in some of the tournaments. The Perfect Game Junior National ended up getting me a connection with the travel team outside of Colorado,” Peterson said. “That was a huge connection for me, and it really got me that nationwide exposure that I wanted and needed to pursue the best opportunity I could in college. I think it opened up a lot of doors for me in terms of professional scouting out of high school, as well as seeing the attention from the colleges that I got.”

Peterson said his favorite Perfect Game memory came during the 2013 PG All-American Classic at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif.

“That was a huge experience for me being in a big-league park pitching against the best high school hitters in the nation. I remember the West won and we all had the huge dog pile that made it on SportsCenter. It is a memory that I'll remember forever,” Peterson said.

Baseball isn’t the only thing Peterson is juggling this baseball season. He was married on the last Saturday in October.

“It's been a very interesting year for sure. Proposing last offseason, I was trying to get some of the big details out of the way before I left for spring training,” Peterson said. “Then I obviously missed a ton of the planning and a lot of the details, and I'm very grateful to have a fiancée that has worked so hard on putting this whole thing together for us. I got to go home for about a week before I came out here and kind of catch up on some of the wedding stuff, but it's definitely been difficult being away from her and her having to do the whole thing.”

Peterson is looking forward to the season ahead and making it to New York to showcase his skillset with the Mets.

“I think I have an opportunity to be in their rotation and make an impact in their rotation in a different way than some of the guys that are up there. I think that's the biggest thing is kind of the opportunity that I've been given. And it's just about working as hard as I can to put myself in a position to let them know that I'm ready,” said Peterson.

The Mets missed out on a playoff spot by three, but Peterson wants to encourage fans to stay positive for the future.

“I think what the team this year did, to try and fight and claw their way back into the wild card up until basically the last game of the year, was fun to watch from the outside,” Peterson said. “I think there's a lot of positives to come in the future for the organization and for the big-league club in particular. There's a lot of young guys on the team, and I think there's a solid veteran corps up there that has the experience. It's just about putting all the pieces together.”

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