Astros Draft: Astros could target David Peterson if Baz is not there

Feb 15, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; A general view of the Houston Astros logo mounted at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 15, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; A general view of the Houston Astros logo mounted at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

If the high school phenom Shane Baz is not available, the Astros could turn to David Peterson.

Unlike the NFL, MLB teams don’t normally draft for a particular position. The Texans needed a quarterback, so they selected Deshaun Watson. For the Astros, they seem to be set at almost all positions for a while. There are a few exceptions, but MLB teams typically draft best available.

Unlike Alex Bregman, most players spend 2-3 seasons in the minors before making their debut. Th Astros do have a weakness in their upper levels of the minor leagues, that would be starting pitchers. Outside of Francis Martes and David Paulino, most of the other starting pitching prospects are fringe level. As someone said on Talking Stros, we don’t have any pitchers who are fast tracked.

While I would really like the Astros to be able to draft Shane Baz, maybe they should get a college pitcher instead. The difference between drafting a college versus a high school pitcher is they have developed more. The high school pitchers who go early in the drafts are typically more talented but raw.

David Peterson, Oregon.

One of the first names that stood out to me was part of Keith Law’s Mock Draft 2.0. He suggested that the Astros would draft David Peterson. Law has officially joined the Baz side with his Mock Draft 3.0 published yesterday. The Yankees would then draft Peterson should the Astros get Baz.

As I wrote yesterday, Baz seems to be falling down the draft boards with his commitment to TCU. Via the Cardinals from Hackgate, the Astros have a larger bonus pool to draw from. This could allow the Astros to draft him for above slot value. High school pitchers normally have the leverage there.

More on Peterson

Moving onto Peterson, why would the Astros want the Oregon left-handed pitcher? He had a coming out party his junior year of college including a complete game on April 28th. What was so special? He struck out 20 hitters in that game, that’s Kerry Wood like. He uses his 6’6″ frame and a 3/4 arm slot to throw pitches between 89-94 mph with a slider in the low 80s. This and more can be found at the SB Nation article listed here.

More from Climbing Tal's Hill

Peterson was previously drafted by the Red Sox in the 28th round of the 2014 draft according to Baseball Cube. After his freshman (81 SO to 31 BB) and sophomore (61 SO to 30 BB) seasons, he improved his control as a junior. This season, he has only walked 15 hitters in 100 1/3 innings pitched while striking out 140 hitters. As a junior, he went 11-4 with a 2.51 ERA.

Peterson did well by going to college instead of signing with the Red Sox. He could now become a first-round pick in today’s draft. Not to say that he would be a pitcher capable of being fast tracked, he could reach the MLB before Forrest Whitley. Part of the minors is to develop the control to be successful in the big leagues. Peterson is one of the highly touted control pitchers in the draft.

Next: Astros success in draft can make team more willing to trade

Peterson’s strikeouts per nine innings are 12.56 while is strikeout to walk ratio is 9.33 via Baseball Cube. While Baz might have the raw talent, Peterson could be ready faster. He’s not quite as tall as Randy Johnson, but I can see some similar traits. The Astros tend to like the taller pitchers.

***Stats from Baseball Cube and SB Nation***