Faster than a snap of the fingers or blink of the eye or a pitch to Alex Gordon in the World Series from Jeurys Familia, New York Mets pitcher David Peterson went from a promising young rookie in 2020 to someone that might find himself in the minor leagues when the 2022 season begins.
Peterson won many of us over with his impressive leap from Double-A to the majors when the Mets found themselves in need of another arm during the shortened campaign. Although he wasn’t in a class of recent Mets rookies like Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, or Matt Harvey, Peterson was steady and reliable going 6-2 with a 3.44 ERA.
The tall lefty followed it up with a 2-6 record in 2021 matched with a 5.54 ERA. It was a stark contrast to what we saw him do one year earlier. An injury limited him to only 15 starts but that half-season performance has pushed him down the depth chart and silenced a few of his cheerleaders.
It’s not over for Mets pitcher David Peterson
A former first-round draft pick of the Mets, Peterson joined the professional ranks with some hype but perhaps not as much as many other pitchers we’ve seen in the last decade. He was never highly-touted outside of the organization. His minor league numbers, as limited as they are, were good yet nothing particularly special.
The pandemic got in the way big time for Peterson. The 2020 season should have been his opportunity to grow in Triple-A before eventually making it to the majors. Instead, with the minor league season completely canceled, the Mets didn’t pause to call him up to the big leagues. He made the most of that opportunity. Unfortunately, he couldn’t repeat the same success as a sophomore.
The Mets’ pitching staff was a major issue in 2020 and again in 2021. Two seasons ago, only Peterson and Jacob deGrom could be trusted. This past year, once deGrom went down, Marcus Stroman was the lone wolf you could really put your faith in.
Age is beginning to catch up with Peterson. I hate to say 26 is old nor should we think it’s anything close to two minutes to midnight for him or any other athlete. For all we know, Peterson gets some seasoning in the minors, figures some things out, and returns with vengeance.
At the moment, though, we should all have some doubts about his abilities and where he fits into the team’s future. Are the Mets willing to let him grow on the job? Acquiring Max Scherzer on a short-term deal along with several other moves suggests they want to win now. So unless Peterson is tearing it up in Triple-A and becomes a better option than what is on the big league roster, Syracuse will be his home in 2022.
It’s far too soon to know what Peterson will truly become. I don’t think many people have him pinned as the team’s next ace. A fine number four or five or even a possible bullpen arm if things don’t work out as a starter would be fine enough.
A downfall of so many teams is a lack of depth. In the coming year, look for Peterson to compete alongside others to fill that need. Whether it be for five innings at the start or a frame or two later on, Peterson just has to remind the organization why he was taken 20th overall in the 2017 draft.