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NY Mets: A brighter MLB future, David Peterson or Tylor Megill?

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 24: Tylor Megill #38 of the New York Mets looks for the sign in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on September 24, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 24: Tylor Megill #38 of the New York Mets looks for the sign in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on September 24, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
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The New York Mets have some interesting decisions to make in their starting rotation.
David Peterson and Tylor Megill are two options at the back of the rotation not only in 2022 but beyond.

So which of these Mets has the brighter future?

Peterson tossed 66.2 innings before he suffered a foot injury that ended his 2021 season. He allowed 64 hits, 41 runs, walked 29 batters, and struck out 69. His WHIP was 1.40 and his ERA was 5.54, but some bad luck was involved, since his FIP was 4.78.

Peterson’s big problem is his control, or more accurately, lack thereof. He averaged almost four walks per nine innings and his WHIP was 1.395. He walks 10% of batters he faces, which is in the 25th percentile on Baseball Savant. Factor in that he allows basically a hit per innings, and that’s just way too many baserunners. His Savant page is as blue as their alternate uniforms.

Megill made his major league debut on June 23rd. He pitched 89.2 innings, gave up 88 hits, 45 earned runs, 27 walks, and struck out 99. His WHIP was 1.28, his ERA was 4.52, and his FIP was 4.69.

Megill’s main struggle during his rookie campaign was that he gave up a ton of hard contact. He ranked in the 14th percentile in barrel percentage, 25th in hard-hit percentage, 29th in average exit velocity, and 40th in expected slugging. Almost 35% of his contact allowed was considered hard (meaning exit velocity of 95 mph or higher). He gave up 19 homers this year, nearly two homers per nine innings.

Both are young and still have potential, but I’m putting my money on Megill having more success as a starter. Megill has better stuff, with a fastball that sits around 95 and tops out nearing triple digits, and a sharp slider and changeup that both get swings and misses. His slider is a particularly good put-away pitch, with a .173 expected batting average against, .294 expected slugging percentage, and a .266 wOBA.

Peterson’s stuff is not as good. His fastball averages 93, his off-speed pitches aren’t sharp, and his control issues aren’t going anywhere soon. I think Peterson is a candidate to move to the bullpen, where he can air out his stuff for one or two innings instead of conserving his energy for five or more. Think of all the unexciting starters who moved to the bullpen and had an uptick in stuff and success – Wade Davis, Drew Pomeranz, and Liam Hendriks, to name a few.

Next. Is Marcus Stroman growing Angel wings?

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Considering that deGrom, Carrasco, and Walker are locks for the 2022 rotation, Syndergaard will likely accept his qualifying offer, and the Mets are in the market for a free agent starting pitcher, there’s a chance neither makes the rotation at the beginning of the season. Peterson and Megill could start next season in AAA, in the bullpen as long relievers, or potentially be part of a trade. Either way, in the long term, I’m betting on Tylor Megill.

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