Friday, July 5, 2019

Rick Peterson, High Percentage - 25

Pitching coach Rick Peterson heavily used numbers to improve his pitchers' success rate, The Baltimore Sun wrote in 2013.

The Orioles' director of pitching development stressed outcomes, like how different pitching counts produce different outcomes, The Sun wrote. A 1-2 count produced a .220 on-base percentage, while a 2-1 count produced a .480 percentage.

"So the most critical count of all is the 1-1 count," Peterson told The Sun. "That’s a 260-point swing. … So we're telling our catchers and our pitchers, we're not looking for backdoor knuckle sliders on the black on the 1-1 count. It's a low percentage strike. Let’s throw a high percentage strike."

Peterson learned his craft to that point over a career that had spanned more than four decades. He played in eight professional seasons, never making the majors.

He then went on to a long coaching career that saw him first make the majors as a bullpen coach and then spend a decade in the bigs as a pitching coach.

Peterson's career began in 1976, taken by the Pirates in the 21st round of the draft out of Jacksonville University in Florida.

Peterson entered the pros as the son of a former major leaguer. His father Hardy Peterson played parts of four seasons with the Pirates.

Peterson started with the Pirates at short-season Little Falls. He moved to single-A Charleston and single-A Salem for 1977. He went 4-4 that year over 31 outings, four starts.

Peterson saw 15 outings at Salem in 1978, then four in 1979 and seven total in 1980.

He started his coaching career by 1982 at AA Buffalo, though he saw five more appearances on the mound through 1988.

He served as pitching coach at AA Waterbury in 1986. then AAA Buffalo in 1987. He spent three seasons at AA Birmingham, then returned to AAA in 1992 with Vancouver.

Peterson arrived in the majors in 1994 as White Sox bullpen coach. He stayed there two seasons and returned to the bigs in 1998 as pitching coach in Oakland.

With Oakland, Peterson was credited with using technology to develop Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson. (With Oakland in 2002, Peterson was also portrayed in the movie "Moneyball.")

Peterson moved to the Mets as pitching coach for 2004.

"Rick's record of success as a pitching coach speaks for itself," Mets GM Jim Duquette said upon hiring Peterson. "He brings an approach and a passion to the job which will be a tremendous plus for our organization."

Peterson spent five seasons in Flushing, then moved to the Brewers as pitching coach. He arrived in Baltimore as director of pitching development by 2012 and stayed through 2016.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,152
Made the Majors:1,144-36.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,008-63.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 475
10+ Seasons in the Minors:283

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