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Don’t Expect Too Much From David Peterson

With Marcus Stroman injured and the Mets senseless use of Corey Oswalt, the team put former first round pick David Peterson on the taxi squad, and they may activate him to make his MLB debut tonight. Certainly, this will be a popular pick among Mets fans who wanted him over Oswalt.

Hopefully, fans expectation levels are reasonable.

To a certain extent, this is like when the Mets called up Mike Pelfrey in 2006. Pelfrey was rushed up to the majors from Double-A because the Mets frankly ran out of starting pitching options. Pelfrey simply was not ready, and he’d pitch to a 5.48 ERA in four starts.

To a certain extent, Pelfrey profiled similar to Peterson. Like Pelfrey, Peterson is a sinkerball pitcher. Unlike Pelfrey, Peterson has a well developed slider with Pelfrey relying on a curve in college and the minors. While they struck out over a batter an inning in Double-A, they expectation for Peterson is he won’t do that in the majors.

It should again be noted Peterson pitched in Double-A last year, and he did not face higher level batters you see in Triple-A. His results in Binghamton were very much a mixed bag.

Overall, Peterson made 24 starts pitching 116.0 innings (4.2 innings per start). He was 3-6 with a 4.19 ERA, 1.345 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, and a 9.5 K/9. Part of the reason for the low innings per start was an injury suffered last year, and it was also the result of his not going deep into games on a consistent basis.

While his traditional stats were not promising, some of the analytical numbers were quite favorable. For example, he had a 3.19 FIP and 2.91 xFIP. Other numbers were not favorable like a 10.5% HR/FB which coincided with a dropping GB%.

These stats coincide with what has been a very mixed opinion on Peterson from the moment he was drafted. When the Mets selected him 20th overall in the 2017 draft, some thought the Mets got a steal. There were some who thought that was the right spot, and there were a few who thought it was an aggressive spot to grab him.

Putting that aside, Peterson does have the stuff which suggests he can be a Major League pitcher. He has a low 90s fastball with sinking action. The spin rates on his fastball and slider are relatively average albeit on the low end of that spectrum. With all of these pitches, there is promise and real hope for improvement.

Therein lies the rub. Peterson is not a finished product. He still needs work on his fastball, change, and slider. Many times, that gets exposed.

On the other hand, Jacob deGrom was able to take his game to a completely different level when he was promoted to the majors. This isn’t to say Peterson will be the next deGrom. He won’t. Rather, at times, the extra adrenaline of pitching in the majors coupled with better coaching, helps a pitcher improve significantly.

Overall, Peterson is a pitcher with real yet still somewhat raw talent. He’s yet to fully hone his arsenal, and we really haven’t seen him have the level of game-to-game consistency you want from a pitcher before calling him up.

That said, the Mets have put themselves into a box and may have to call him up. The hope there is Jeremy Hefner can work with him to accelerate his development, and that the work he’s been putting in translates to him being able to succeed at the Major League level.

It’s certainly possible, but that said, we probably should expect more early Pelfrey than early deGrom.

8 thoughts on “Don’t Expect Too Much From David Peterson”

  1. David Klein says:

    Bad night for you with Davis and Peterson having monster games

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Peterson is pitching with velocity he never previously exhibited and with superior control.

      I guess you missed Davis playing a Plawecki fly ball out into a double.

  2. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Peterson’s performance doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s poised, has good mix, throws well, is fast paced, cerebral, competitor up for the challenge against major leaguers.

    Davis is still work in progress in his outfield routes on balls requiring him run back, but he has strong arm and strong bat. Had a homer taken away at Citi 408 feet away, and may have lost a homer at Fenway when Mets didn’t challenge a foul call. Davis is good around hitter and just beginning to get comfortable in the box after Summer camp.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Peterson’s performance was surprising because his fastball was at a completely different gear than it had been in the majors.

      Davis has been terrible in the OF and his arm isn’t going to save extra base hits when he’s chasing down balls a left fielder should’ve caught

      Also, his bat isn’t that strong. It’s not. He’s okay at the plate. Nothing more.

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