On Wednesday, New York Mets pitching prospect David Peterson threw three hitless innings in an intrasquad game. The team’s closest-to-MLB prospect, Peterson struck out Brandon Nimmo on three pitches, froze Michael Conforto looking, and set down a sizzling hot Yoenis Cespedes.
Peterson’s fastball was reportedly clocked at 93 to 94 MPH, which is a good sign considering he had velocity issues at one point in time.
Peterson, who features a slider, changeup, curveball, and fastball, was asked about the progress on his slider and curveball and replied that he feels like both pitches are much better, specifically the slider. He worked on his curveball in the offseason and feels confident in it, too.
He was also asked whether he feels like he can come into the major leagues and pitch right now. “I feel major league ready,” he said.
That quote alone tells a great deal about his competitive personality which fans will love.
During the shutdown, Peterson said that he first started by only playing catch and moved on to light bullpens, then to facing live hitters. To help him stay sharp, the left-handed starter faced some college guys in addition to pro players. He built up his pitch count and feels ready to go for the season.
Peterson also worked with new pitching coach Jeremy Hefner during the offseason, spring, and early summer to solidify his repertoire. He focused on his curveball in hopes of making it a solid fourth pitch and also zeroed in on his consistency and fluidity. This is all notable because Hefner worked with fellow lefty Steven Matz and the Twins’ pitchers last year. This could explain why the team is also high on lefty Stephen Gonsalves, who they claimed from the Twins in the offseason.
When asked about the crowd noise, Peterson mentioned that he heard it while warming up but it didn’t make much of a difference in-game. As for his success at the end of last year, Peterson said that it was great for his development. He learned a lot at the beginning of last season which led to that success and was able to take the success into the fall league and come into camp as a viable option for the big-league club. His biggest focus was refining his mental approach against hitters and working on the pitch sequences inside.