In what has become an annual must read for people who follow MLB prospects, Keith Law of ESPN has released the first half of his Top 100 prospect rankings for 2018 (ESPN Insider subscription required). With Law releasing the bottom half of his rankings (51 – 100), Mets 2017 first round draft pick (20th overall) David Peterson was ranked the 58th prospect. On ranking Peterson 58th, Law said:
Peterson’s fastball comes in at 90-92 on average and touches 94 when he needs a little more, but the grade 55 slider is his out pitch, and he can throw both for strikes. He takes advantage of his height with huge extension toward the plate and has a little funk in the back of his delivery to give him some more deception.
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He’ll need to throw his changeup, which is fringe-average to average, more in pro ball to stay ahead of right-handed hitters, and as with most deception guys he might run into trouble with smarter hitters at the upper levels. He should sail through A-ball given his ability to throw two pitches where he wants them and the difficulty hitters have seeing the ball; he has a high floor as a back-end starter, but there’s a little Chris Sale/Alex Wood potential here if he adds velocity when he fills out.
When Peterson was drafted, there was some debate between scouts over how Peterson should be valued. Some thought the Mets got a steal with Peterson at 20, whereas others were less bullish on the lefty. Clearly, Law, like the Mets, were are more bullish on the talented left-hander who is coming off a record setting season at the University of Oregon.
Seeing Peterson as the only Mets prospect in the bottom half of Keith Law’s Top 100 is a good indication of the state of the Mets farm system. Just last year, the Mets had Thomas Szapucki (60), Robert Gsellman (76), and Justin Dunn (84) ranked in the bottom half of his rankings. Of that trio, only Gsellman graduated from prospect status. It will be interesting to see how many Mets prospects, if any, will join Peterson on Law’s Top 100.