The MLB Draft is rolling on and on Monday, UConn right-handed pitcher Austin Peterson was selected by Cleveland in the ninth round as the No. 271 overall pick.
The slot value of this pick is $161,100.
Peterson had a dynamite 2022 and was named an All-American by a litany of outlets, including on the first team by the NCBWA, the second team by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, and the third team by the ABCA and D1Baseball.com. The Indiana native was also named to the All-Big East first team.
He got there by setting the program’s single-season record for strikeouts, with 147, which was also third in the country. UConn won his first 12 starts and he pitched the first game of each weekend series, earning a 3.83 ERA in 110 1⁄3 innings and an 11-3 record.
Peterson’s career numbers in Storrs are just as impressive. He ranks sixth in program history in strikeouts, despite pitching just two seasons with the Huskies, one of which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, batters hit just .223 off of him, which is third in program history among those that pitched more than 100 innings and Peterson is the highest-ranked starter, behind relievers Scott Oberg and Patrick Ruotolo.
At 6-foot-6, 234 pounds, Peterson definitely has the build to stick as a starter at the professional level and will certainly be developed as such to begin his career. He was also in the top 50 in Division I in strikeout-to-walk ratio, which indicates he has the ability to command his pitches, though he will face an uptick in competition once he reaches the professional level.
After throwing more than 100 innings and pitching well into June, Peterson will probably sit out the rest of the year and has the potential, as an older college arm with a lot of experience, to begin 2023 at a full-season affiliate.