NEW YORK -- Wherever David Peterson roamed, familiarity followed. As Peterson emerged from the Mets' clubhouse Saturday afternoon, Steven Matz, a fellow left-handed pitcher, walked over to greet him. Moments later it was Jacob deGrom, who shares an agency with the Mets' 2017 first-round Draft pick. Then Michael Conforto, a former Oregon State Beaver, offered some good-natured ribbing for the Oregon Duck.
This was Peterson's introduction to Citi Field, where he intends to play before too long. Four weeks after signing a $2.99 million deal with the Mets, Peterson made his professional debut Friday night at Class A Short-Season Brooklyn. A day later, the Mets invited him to Flushing for a look around.
"I was excited to get back out there," said Peterson, who gave up one run during his one-inning debut. "It's been probably 10 weeks since I've pitched in a game, and to pitch in my first game in pro ball was very exciting. I'm glad to be back out there, and ready to work."
For now, the Mets will limit Peterson to one- and two-inning stints at Brooklyn, wary of taxing him after a 100 1/3-inning junior season at Oregon.
Heavier workloads and increased responsibility will come. Friday's debut and Saturday's trip to Citi Field were more about introducing Peterson to the rigors of New York City.
"If you're going to play in New York, you've got to be here to see it," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "You've got to understand what it takes to play here. You've got to understand [the media]. You've got to be accountable. … I hope that this is a place he plays for a long time."
If nothing else, Peterson has the potential to make an impact in the relatively near future. A few weeks shy of his 22nd birthday, Peterson went 11-4 with a 2.51 ERA this year at Oregon, developing into one of the best collegiate arms in the Draft class. Peterson's mother, stepbrother and girlfriend joined him and his agents on the field Saturday during batting practice. Peterson is also good friends with Stephen Nogosek, one of the three Minor League pitchers the Mets acquired in their trade of Addison Reed this week.
Next year, Peterson is likely to open at Class A St. Lucie, where Nogosek is now, with a chance to advance rapidly up the Mets' Minor League ladder.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be drafted by the Mets," Peterson said. "I don't think anyone grows up wanting to be in the Minor Leagues, so my goal is to get here, and play in this stadium, and help the team win. Obviously, starting in Brooklyn is the first step."