Former Rogue, Duck Peterson taken 20th
SECAUCUS, N.J. — Former Medford Rogues left-hander David Peterson was selected by the New York Mets with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft on Monday.
Peterson pitched for the Rogues in 2014, posting a record of 5-1 with a 3.75 ERA while earning 32 strikeouts in 48 innings.
“’Petey is one of the strongest competitors on the mound,” Rogues manager Josh Hogan said. “Especially coming from high school to college ball and coming off of an injury, it’s rare to see someone that effective. Off the field he’s one of the nicest guys to be around, a great teammate and just wants to win. It’s been fun to see him progress and be nearly untouchable now.”
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins think they've got their shortstop of the future in the speedy and slick-fielding Royce Lewis.
The California high school star was taken with the No. 1 pick. It was the third time the Twins were up first — the last time was 2001, when they grabbed hometown high school catcher Joe Mauer with the top choice.
Oregon State right-handed pitcher Drew Rasmussen was taken 31st by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Peterson had previously been selected in 2014 MLB draft in the 28th round (854th overall) by the Boston Red Sox.
After playing the 2014 summer with the Rogues, he went on to pitch for three seasons at the University of Oregon. This past season, Peterson finished 11-4 with a 2.51 ERA with a school-record 140 strikeouts in 100.1 innings pitched.
“David is a special kid on and off the field,” Rogues pitching coach Jeff Lyle said. “He’s one of the hardest working and most competitive kids I’ve ever been around. He has a bright future and deserves everything that comes his way.”
Lewis played both shortstop and outfield in high school. But the Twins, who lead the AL Central after going 59-103 last year, classified him as a shortstop when Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement at MLB Network studios.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Lewis hit .377 with four homers and 25 stolen bases for JSerra Catholic High School, establishing himself as a top prospect with excellent speed and a solid bat.
"He's got that 'it' factor that a No. 1 pick needs to survive and move forward and have success at the end of the journey," said Mike Radcliff, the Twins' vice president for player personnel. "He checked all the boxes for us."
With the second pick, Cincinnati took California high school right-hander Hunter Greene, one of the top two-way talents in a draft stocked with them.
Greene, chosen as a pitcher, also played shortstop at Notre Dame High School, but a fastball that can reach 100 mph has the Reds projecting him as a future ace. Greene, featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated this season, was the first of four prospects in attendance at the draft site to be selected.
At No. 3, San Diego selected North Carolina prep left-hander MacKenzie Gore, marking the first time since 1990 that the top three picks were all high school players.
Louisville two-way star Brendan McKay was drafted fourth overall by Tampa Bay as a first baseman.
Atlanta selected Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright — who grew up a Braves fan — with the No. 5 pick, looking to augment a large stable of touted arms already in the team's farm system.
After North Carolina high school outfielder Austin Beck went sixth to Oakland, a pair of University of Virginia teammates were picked with the next two selections: first baseman Pavin Smith to Arizona and outfielder Adam Haseley to Philadelphia.