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Mets: Will an injury ruin David Peterson’s Rookie of the Year chances?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 13: David Peterson #77 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals in the first inning during their game at Citi Field on August 13, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 13: David Peterson #77 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals in the first inning during their game at Citi Field on August 13, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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After bursting onto the scene with the New York Mets, rookie David Peterson could have a chance at winning the Rookie of the Year Award. Will his latest injury get in the way?

The 2020 season has been an interesting one for the New York Mets, as well as the rest of Major League Baseball. First entering spring training with high hopes, the 2020 season ended up being delayed and cut to only 60 games.

The Mets particularly have dealt with several injuries, particularly to pitcher Noah Syndergaard, and had key players like Marcus Stroman and Yoenis Cespedes opting-out of playing.

While the team has struggled to begin the year, which is now a third of the way through, there have been quite a few bright spots, including the emergence of Rookie David Peterson.

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Peterson was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 MLB draft and was one of their top prospects entering Spring Training. However, the highest level he pitched at to this point was Double-A, so there was doubt regarding if he was ready for the Major Leagues.

However, with Stroman injured to begin the year, the Mets’ hand was forced and Peterson was selected to be the fifth starter to begin the 2020 season.

David went on to have an impressive debut against the Red Sox in Fenway Park, pitching 5.2 innings while only allowing 2 runs and striking out 3 against a tough Boston lineup.

Overall for 2020, Peterson has pitched a total 4 starts, going 3-1 while logging a 2.91 ERA over 21.2 innings, striking out 17 batters, performing at a much higher level than was initially expected.

While this is a small sample size, at the time of writing, the season is more than a third of the way complete, and if Peterson continues to perform at this current pace, he’ll definitely be in the mix for the Rookie of the Year Award.

If he were to do so, Peterson would be the first Met since Jacob deGrom in 2014 to win the award. DeGrom, like Peterson, also was unexpectedly called up in his rookie year and thrust into the starting rotation as a rookie beat any and all expectations.

For the 2020 season, Peterson’s steepest competition in the National League is the Dodger’s Dustin May, who is still technically a rookie, and Jake Cronenworth from the Padres.

May was selected to be the Dodgers’ Opening Day starter with Clayton Kershaw injured to start the year, and through 5 starts, has logged a 3.00 ERA over 24.0  innings with 19 strikeouts, and was one of the favorites to win the ROTY entering the year.

As for Cronenworth, he has appeared in 17 games so far in 2020, logging innings at 1B, 2B, and SS, and at the plate, has batted .302 with a .362 OBP, hitting 2 home runs with 6 RBI.

He has mainly been used as a utility man to this point, but if he gets more consistent playing time and continues to hit, Cronenworth should be another Dark Horse candidate for the award.

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While Peterson missed his last start due to a minor injury that has landed him on the IL, if he returns in time for his next turn around the rotation and continues to build upon his earlier success, then he’ll surely have a strong case to be the Rookie of the Year.

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