AURORA | The wait lasted longer than expected, but Regis Jesuit’s David Peterson had his named called in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Peterson, a southpaw who rebounded from injury to help the Raiders made it to the championship game of the Class 5A Baseball Championship Series, went to the Boston Red Sox Saturday in the 28th round — No. 854 overall — on the third day of the draft.
On Friday, shortstop Max George, Peterson’s Regis Jesuit teammate, went to the Colorado Rockies in the sixth round with the No. 173 overall selection.
“I want to thank the @RedSox for drafting me. It is such an honor to be picked by one of the best organizations there is,” Peterson sent out via Twitter shortly after his selection.
A fractured fibula that sidelined Peterson for much of his senior season made a big difference in the eyes of major league clubs, as he went well after he was originally projected. MLB.com had Peterson ranked as the No. 115 overall prospect — high school or college — in part because of his 6-foot-6 frame and fastball that can reach upwards of 93 mph with significant movement.
Peterson returned from injury in time to log 24 1/3 innings, in which he compiled a 3-0 record with a save, a 1.15 ERA and 40 strikeouts against 12 walks. The body of work turned out to be inconclusive for a number of clubs and now Peterson is almost certain to head off to the University of Oregon — where he signed prior to his senior season — and be eligible to re-enter the draft in a minimum of three seasons.
The same scenario worked out well for another Aurora pitcher a few seasons ago in Kevin Gausman, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gausman decided to play at Louisiana State instead and parlayed his time there into becoming the No. 4 overall picked in the 2012 draft, which netted him a $4.32 million contract.
Spending time in college baseball also benefited one of the two Colorado left-handed starting pitchers taken in front of Peterson, Kyle Freeland, the No. 8 overall selection taken by Colorado. Freeland got drafted in the lower rounds after graduating from Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School, but spent three seasons at the University of Evansville and jumped all the way into the first round.
Left-handed pitchers with Colorado ties were popular in the draft, as Freeland and Evergreen High School’s Brock Burke (No. 96 to the Tampa Bay Rays) and Brennan Henry (No. 513 to the Kansas City Royals) went off the board before Peterson and Legacy High School’s Lucas Gilbreath (No. 1,073 to the Rockies) went after him.
Eaglecrest coach Tory Humphrey can validate the credentials of both Freeland and Burke. He coached Freeland for three seasons at Thomas Jefferson and Burke struck out 19 of his Raptors in a dominating complete-game victory for Evergreen when the teams met April 29 at Coors Field.
“He’s a pro prospect, that’s for sure,” Humphrey said of Burke, after the fifth time he watched him pitch. “This kid is legit. You can tell when your hitters are taking pitches that are low and come up. That ball was moving.”
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]/ Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2014 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT
1st round: No. 8 (Colorado Rockies) — Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville; 3rd round: No. 77 (Chicago White Sox) — Jace Fry, LHP, Oregon State; No. 96 (Tampa Bay Rays) — Brock Burke, LHP, Evergreen H.S.; No. 98 (Los Angeles Dodgers) — John Richy, RHP, UNLV; 6th round: NO. 173 (COLORADO ROCKIES) — MAX GEORGE, SS, REGIS JESUIT H.S.; 7th round: Nick Green, RHP, Indian Hills C.C. (Iowa); 17th round: No. 513 (Kansas City Royals) — Brennan Henry, LHP, Bellevue University (Neb.); 20th round: No. 587 (Miami Marlins) — Jordan Holloway, RHP, Ralston Valley H.S.; 23rd round: No. 683 (Colorado Rockies) — Gavin Glanz, RHP, Oral Roberts; 27th round: No. 804 (Toronto Blue Jays) — Owen Taylor, 1B, Grand Junction H.S.; No. 810 (Arizona Diamondbacks) — Nate Robertson, SS, Colorado Mesa University; No. 821 (Pittsburgh Pirates) — Jess Amedee, RHP, University of Texas-Arlington; No. 823 (Atlanta Braves) — Carl Stadjuhar, 1B, Rocky Mountain H.S.; 28th round: No. 839 (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) — Jordan Piche, RHP, Kansas; NO. 854 (BOSTON RED SOX) — DAVID PETERSON, LHP, REGIS JESUIT H.S.; No. 855 (St. Louis Cardinals) — Tyler Dunnington, RHP, Colorado Mesa University; 30th round: No. 895 (New York Mets) — Tucker Tharp, OF, Kansas; 34th round: No. 1,013 (Colorado Rockies) — Cory Voss, C, Pueblo South H.S.; No. 1,033 (Atlanta Braves) — Nick Leonard, RHP, Mountain Vista H.S.; 35th round: No. 1,043 (Colorado Rockies) — Brody Westmoreland, SS, ThunderRidge H.S.; No. 1,063 (Atlanta Braves) — Ryan Kokora, RHP, Fairview H.S.; 36th round: No. 1,073 (Colorado Rockies) — Lucas Gilbreath, LHP, Legacy H.S.; 38th round: No. 1,141 (Baltimore Orioles) — Keegan Ghidotti, RHP, Ouachita Baptist University (Ariz.); 39th round: No. 1,162 (Philadelphia Phillies) — Keenan Eaton, LF, Chaparral H.S.