2002 Scouting Report: Pitcher, Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson was the Mets' 2nd round selection in the June 2000 draft. Peterson signed late, and did not pitch in 2000. In his senior year in HS, an injury forced Peterson to pitch with his left shoulder in a harness. As a consequence, Peterson's fastball sat at 85-86 mph until very late in the season when he consistently reached 90-92 mph and touched 95 mph. And, he developed a very promising curve with tight spin.

The Mets were among the few teams to continue following him and were rewarded when he was still available on the 2nd round. When he signed, he became the Mets pitching prospect with the highest ceiling. And, that includes the top rated Aaron Heilman.

Despite his overall record, Peterson is in the midst of what to all appearances is a break out season. In his past 5 starts, Peterson's numbers are as follows: 4-0, 32 IP, 6 BB, 48 K, 1.10 ERA. Of his last 96 outs, half have come via the strikeout. Peterson's overall ratios are quite good: 6.8 H/9 IP; 3.9 BB/9 IP; 9.8 K/ 9 IP. Obviously, Peterson struggled mightily with his control early in the season. The Mets developmental goal for Peterson was for him to improve his change up.










St. Lucie








Cap City








Cap City















*Stats as of 08/10/02.

Repertoire. 4-seam fastball (FB), curve ball (CB) and change up (CU).

Fastball. Peterson's FB sits at 92-94 mph and it tops off at 97-98 mph. Peterson is likely to add 1-2 mph to his FB.. His FB has excellent movement and he is able to sustain his velocity late into ball games.

Other pitches: Peterson has a plus CB and his CU is still in the development.

Pitching: Peterson's command has improved during the 2002 season. He uses both sides of the plate.

Projection: Peterson still projects to a #1 or #2 type starter, but the likelihood of his become a #1 SP is clearly in sight. Not definite, but probable.

ETA: 2005. Probably sooner.

Right-Handed Starting Pitchers Team
Jae Weong Seo AAA - Norfolk Tides
Patrick Strange AAA - Norfolk Tides
Tyler Walker AAA - Norfolk Tides
Aaron Heilman AAA - Norfolk Tides
Nick Maness AA - Binghamton Mets
Jeremy Griffiths AA - Binghamton Mets
Joseph Coles AA - Binghamton Mets
Jake Joseph AA - Binghamton Mets
Bob Keppel A - St. Lucie Mets
Dave Mattox A - St. Lucie Mets
Tanner Osborne A - Capital City Bombers
Luz Portobanco A - Capital City Bombers
Miguel Pinango A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Chad Bowen A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Adam Elliot R - Kingsport Mets
Rafael Castro R - Kingsport Mets
Matthew Lindstrom R - Kingsport Mets


Starting RHP remains the strength of the organization. Matthew Peterson ranked #26 in early June jumps into the top 10 perhaps as high as #3. Championships are built around pitching, and with the emergence of Peterson, the Mets have enough quality arms performing well to foster dreams of great Mets rotations of the past. More importantly, there is a depth of quality to arms that 1 or 2 injuries won't be as devastating as the Gen K group. Speaking of Gen K, Peterson has the highest ceiling since Paul Wilson performed in the Mets farm system.

1. Matthew Peterson in his past 5 starts demonstrated his ability to dominate with his high ceiling repetoire. Perhaps, the most impressive aspect of his performance is his ability to sustain velocity late into games. He was reaching 97 mph in the 7th inning of one of his starts. When considering any prospect, it's far more important to know the velocity late in games than at the beginning of games. This means the pitcher has the ability to close out victories themselves, or hand the game over to the closer rather than setups or middle RPs.

2. Aaron Heilman remains the organization's top pitching prospect. Heilman's remarkable command of his FB and SL sets him apart from other starters. Heilman also sustains his velocity deep into games and has the body and arm strength to pitch a lot of innings. He still needs to improve his secondary pitches. Due to his collegiate and International experience, Heilman may play a pivotal role in the Mets future. When the Leiter/Piazza era comes to a close, Heilman should be best able to accept the staff leadership mantle for a strong group of minor league prospects.

3. Patrick Strange also sustains and in fact increases his velocity as the game progresses. His 67-21 record is not just an accident. Strange demonstrates a remarkable ability to close out victories and hand games to the closer instead of others. His ability to sustain velocity late into games is a critical part of his success.

4. Robert Keppel is on the same fast track that the Mets had for Strange. But, Keppel's more extensive repetoire (4-seam FB, 2-seam FB+, cut SL, spl. FB and CU) than Strange at the same age means he should not struggle as much as Strange did when promoted to Binghamton. He's also working on a knuckle CB. Keppel has the 2nd highest ceiling of any pitcher in the Mets organization, but he definitely needs to seriously bulk up.

5. Kenneth Chenard should be converted to a RP. He simply lacks the durability to become a SP.

6. Should Chenard be relegated to the bullpen, Maness has the 3rd highest ceiling of any starter in the long season leagues. But, his continued struggles at Binghamton will soon regulate him to marginal prospect status. It's not likely the Mets will return him to their 40-man roster.

7. Luz Portobanco continues to struggle at Columbia and has not pitched recently for the Bombers. Tanner Osborne has taken his spot in the rotation. Portobanco has been plagued by poor control of his CB and CU both of which are close to MLB plus pitcher (but if he can't throw them for strikes it doesn't matter). Just as happened at Brooklyn, hitters stopped swinging at his off-speed pitches.

8. Tyler Walker's addition of a decent SL makes him MLB ready. With a loss of about 30 lbs., Walker is better able to sustain his velocity deep into games.

9. With the depth of quality arms, the Mets can move Seo to the bullpen to serve a Mario Mendoza type role. When healthy (he's been plagued by minor ailments throughout 2002), Seo has command of FB, CB, SL, CU and spl. FB. Bobby Valentine called him the best young pitcher he had ever seen when urging the Mets to sign Seo despite his having a sore elbow that eventually needed Tommy John surgery.

10. Dave Mattox has come on very quickly. He was promoted to St. Lucie after starting at Columbia. His pitches (4-seam FB, 2-seam FB, CB, CU) have excellent movement.

11. Jeremy Griffiths has emerged as the organization's second hardest thrower in 2002. He's plagued by inconsistent mechanics and command that is not unusual for a 6'7´pitcher with limited experience. Griffiths first began pitching in 1999.

12. Jake Joseph has good stuff, however, his progress has been stifled by numerous not-pitching related injuries and a lack of confidence in his repetoire (FB, SL, CU).

13. Joey Cole probably possesses the worst repetoire of the three Js pitching at Binghamton (J. Grifith, and J. Joseph being the others), but he might turn out to be the best pitcher. He has a solid end of the rotaton repetoire featuring a sinking FB and big breaking CB.

14. Adam Elliot has outstanding command of a plus FB and CB to have survived until the 6th round of the 2002 draftt. Apparently, Elliot's perceived bad attitude cost him several hundred thousand dollars. For the Mets he's just another high ceiling pitching prospect amongst many.

16. Jason Weintraub, the great unknown, possesses a FB that sits at 88-89 mph and tops off at 92-93 mph. Weintraub's ease of motion, balance, frame, and leg strength, strongly suggests that he can add more than the usual 4-5 mph projection. The great unknown is whether his FB will eventually sit at 91-93 mph good but nothing special or sit at 96-98 while topping off at speeds in excess of 100 mph.

17. Miguel Pinango has impressive command of his FB. The Mets roving pitching instructor worked with him on developing a 2-seam FB and tightening his CB. The Mets are typically a 4-seam FB, CB and CU teaching organization for young pitchers (unless they have a SL, 2-seam FB, or spl. FB before signing.) For the Mets to teach Pinango a 2-seam FB at this stage, means either the Mets intend to move Pinango through their system quickly or the don't believe he'll develop a quality CB or both.

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