On Friday night at Banner Island Ballpark, Tanner Peters of the Stockton Ports came within two outs of throwing a perfect game.
The right-handed starter, who pitches in the Oakland Athletics‘ system and who turned 23 earlier this week, retired the first 25 batters he faced. His bid for perfection ended with one out in the eighth as he allowed a double off the wall in left field. Reliever Seth Frankoff then came on to close out the game.
Peters had a strikeout in every inning, and ended his night with 14. The Ports ended up winning 2-0 against the Modesto Nuts, an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Peters had a line of 8.1 innings pitched with one hit and zero runs as he improves to 11-5 on the season. He’s also 4-1 in his last six starts to drop his ERA to 3.84.
The outing against Modesto was not the first time that the right-hander has been close to a perfect game. Back on June 27, Peters set down the first 19 batters he faced, and back during a start in May he retired the first 15 hitters.
The 16th-round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft out of UNLV is not exactly the most highly-touted prospect. However, the Athletics did select a Canadian right-hander in the 17th round of the 2000 draft, who would go on to win 10 games or more on two occasions for the club.
Peters wouldn’t want anything to do with Rich Harden‘s health history, but the comparison serves as a reminder that highly-talented pitchers can be found in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft.
With performances like his near-perfect game, Peters is starting to put himself on the radar. Perhaps, he could get bumped up to Double-A for a brief cameo later this month. At this point, though, a timeline for the righty sees Peters spending 2014 with Double-A Midland and 2015 with Triple-A Sacramento.
Peters is quite a ways out. Nonetheless, it seems as though GM Billy Beane has found yet another talented young arm, this one just happens to be a mid-round sleeper.