The Mets completed their first night of the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft by selecting a healthy range of talent, in college LHP David Peterson (round one, pick 20) and high school infielder Mark Vientos (round two, pick 59).
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Peterson, a 6’6″, 240 lb. southpaw from the University of Oregon, was ranked as the 17th best player in this year’s draft by Baseball America, and the number 19 prospect by MLB Pipeline. The 21-year-old went 11-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 15 starts for the Ducks this season. Peterson fanned 140 batters (including an outstanding 20 in one game against Arizona State), as opposed to 15 walks, in 100.1 innings pitched.
The 21-year-old features a four pitch mix, which all project as average to above-average offerings. The fastball sits in the low 90s, reaching 94 mph, while the change generates great downward movement. Peterson is able to locate his curveball for strikes, while his slider has potential as an out pitch.
“David (Peterson) was on Team USA and a Golden Spikes finalist. He had a tremendous year,” said Mets VP of International and Amateur Scouting Tommy Tanous. “It felt like he was one of those players, those pitchers, that every time you see him pitch–he gets better and better.”
While this wasn’t the sexiest pick the Mets could have made Monday night, Peterson does appear to offer a high floor, projecting as a back end starting pitcher. The slot value for the 20th overall pick is $2,994,500. Once signed, Peterson will head to one of the Mets’ short-season affiliates and begin his professional career.
Looking to cap off their night with a bang, the Mets turned to the prep ranks in the second round, where they selected infielder Mark Vientos from American Heritage High School in Plantation, FL. The school, located about 90 minutes south of Port St. Lucie, was also attended by Milton Ramos, the Mets’ third round selection in 2014.
“Vientos is very young. Not 18 until December,” Tanous said. “He’s been a shortstop his whole young career. It’s more than likely that he will play third base. We’ll try the shortstop avenue. It may be atypical, but there have been some at his size that have played the position. But we think he can at least stay on the dirt (as an infielder).”
Read what Prep Baseball Report had to say about the 17-year-old:
Vientos stands at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds and has proven over time that he can hit high-end competition. He has a wide set-up and uses a simple swing with a great path that stays in the zone for a long time. He creates above-average bat speed with leverage and has above-average feel for the barrel. As he continues to mature physically, he will develop above-average power.
A Miami recruit, Vientos has been inconsistent this spring, but still shown feel for the barrel against good competition. Defensively, his hands and arm work. He projects to fill out and slide over to third base where he can be at least an average defender while hitting for power.
Vientos hit .417/.467/.523 in his senior season for the Patriots, which he completed before committing to the University of Miami. He was not expected to fulfill that agreement unless he had slipped later in the draft. Once signed, Vientos will likely join the organization at their complex in Port St. Lucie as he starts his professional journey.
“We felt very fortunate to acquire two players we had on our first-round board,” Tanous said. “Sometimes the draft breaks that way. We were lucky it did for us.”
Day two of the MLB Draft begins Tuesday at 1:00 PM ET, when the Mets will make eight selections in the third through tenth rounds. For complete coverage, head over to MetsMinors.net, where we will have comprehensive coverage of each pick.