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The Bard’s Take: 2017 MLB Draft - David Peterson

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The first of two rising stock prospects it was requested I profile.

Name: David Peterson

Age: 21 (September 3, 1995)

Height: 6’ 6”

Weight: 240 lbs

Position: LHP

Affiliation: Oregon

Grades:

Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Curveball: 40 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 65 | Overall: 55

Scouting:

At 6’ 6”, Oregon’s Peterson is an imposing presence on the pitching mound. Drafted out of high school as a projectable lefty with only one plus pitch and weak secondary offerings, Peterson has made the most of his three years in the collegiate ranks, topping off his new profile with a one-hit, 20K outing against Arizona State on April 28th. That he has matured into the sort of pitcher many scouts were projecting him to be three years ago bodes well for his future development, leading many to consider him a relatively safe pick.

Peterson works off of his fastball, a strong offering that sits 90-94 mph that gets great downward plane and arm-side run thanks to Peterson’s size. Peterson combines this with a fringe-plus slider that he throws for strikes against both righties and lefties. While his changeup rates as at least average, it still could use some refinement, as when he misses with it, he tends to leave it up in the zone. Peterson’s curve lags well-behind his other pitches, being featured as a more of a get-me-over pitch to keep opposing hitters guessing. Unless he makes rapid strides with hit, his development will probably call for him scrapping the offering.

Peterson’s real bread and butter is his control, which is very advanced and shows signs of getting better still. His ability to fill the strike zone without getting hit around has allowed him to keep walks to a bare minimum, which in turn has allowed him to have success with regard to run prevention.

Although Peterson is a college junior, his developmental timetable probably lags a bit behind most college arms that are ranked ahead of him, as it has only been within the last year that he has finally started to bring his various skills together in one package. Slower development should allow Peterson to fully develop his slider into a true plus offering while bringing his change up to a solid above-average offering. He’s also going to need to work on using the edges of the strike zone more, as more advanced hitters have shown that he can be taken advantage of by being aggressive with him and his propensity for living in the zone.

The Take:

Peterson is the sort of arm Arizona could realistically expect to take if they were looking for an under-slot pick at #7. The problem is, Peterson’s upside is a #3 starter, while his floor is probably lefty middle-reliever. He is not going to be a fast riser, and the talent that will still be available for the Diamondbacks with later picks simply does not scream that the team should pass on the likes of Beck, Haseley, Faedo, or Bukauskas to select Peterson.

Chances Peterson is available at 7: 100%

Chances he signs if selected: A sure-lock