By Matt John
Call him the new kid on the block.
David Peterson, the Mets’ first-round selection with the 20th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, was signed by the franchise last week and is set to make his pro-ball debut with the Cyclones, the Class-A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. It’s been a whirlwind week for the Colorado native, but he’s ready to suit up for Brooklyn’s Boys of Summer.
“I’m super excited. I’m overwhelmed right now and I can’t get wait to get on the journey,” Peterson said. “Coming in and having a club like this and getting to meet the guys has been really good.”
Peterson, 21, was one of the top pitchers in college baseball this past season. He was a dominant southpaw for the University of Oregon, breaking the school’s records for most strikeouts in a single game (20), and posting a terrific strikeout-to-walk-ratio with 140-14 — another program record. Peterson ended the season with an 11-4 record and a 2.51 ERA.
Of course, those numbers have Cyclones manager — and former Met — Edgardo Alfonzo intrigued by Peterson and anxious to see what he can do at the next level.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s got,” Alfonzo said. “Hopefully he will bring good chemistry to the team.”
The Cyclones will give Peterson a few weeks to get himself back into game shape so he can be ready to pitch this season, and Peterson believes the team can help him with his transition as a pitcher.
He’s got plenty of reason to be confident. Peterson finished No. 2 in the country in both strikeouts and wins and was the runner-up for both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy, which honor the country’s top amateur and college player, respectively.
Now, it’s simply about getting ready to take his game to the next level and Peterson is certain Brooklyn is the perfect jumping off point for the rest of his career.
“For me it’s just getting used to pro ball and using this time to get as prepared as I can for spring training next year,” Peterson said. “I think I can learn a lot from this season, even though it is a short season, to get ready for next year.”
He’s still got a tall ladder to climb, but with the Mets major league pitching staff depleted, Peterson could be a bright spot for fans who are already looking toward the future.
Peterson has been with the team for a short time, but he already feels at home with the Cyclones and the Mets organization.
“They’ve welcomed me with open arms and there are definitely a lot of good guys here, so I’m excited,” Peterson said.