Mound Visit with Eric and Patrick Peterson

Jake DeWitt

Patrick Peterson is a left-handed pitcher in the Seattle Mariners organization. He was selected in the 23rd Round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Eric Peterson is a right-handed pitcher in the Houston Astros organization. He was selected in the 37th Round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

In case you were still curious, the answer to your question is yes, Eric and Pat are twins. They were raised in Bear, Delaware, and attended Temple University before transferring to NC State University once Temple eliminated baseball and several other athletic programs in 2014. 

Pat has been limited to three appearances at Clinton (A) this year due to injuries. In 2015, he was 6-6 in 17 starts (27 appearances overall), 108.1 IP, and a 4.49 ERA. 

In 22 appearances between Lancaster (High-A) and Corpus Christi (AA) with the Astros’ minor league affiliates, Eric is 4-2 with 3 saves, 36 IP, and a 3.75 ERA.

Jake DeWitt: You must receive this question a lot, but I have to ask it again. How much has your life changed now that you’re on a different team than your brother for the first time in your baseball career?

Eric Peterson: The only thing that has really changed is not having a teammate that knows you best as a pitcher. Growing up and playing baseball with each other for 10+ years, we know how both of us pitch. If I’m doing something different or wrong, he knows me enough that he can let me know of my mistakes. I’m at the point in my career though that I can feel what I’m doing different most of the time. 

Patrick Peterson: Being on different teams took a little bit of an adjustment. Through high school and college we’ve always been there to help each other out when it comes to pitching. I always look to my brother for advice since he knows me best as a pitcher. It is a little different when we’ve always had each other to push ourselves.

JD: What’s your take on the “Make Baseball Fun Again” movement in MLB? What does that phrase mean to you, and what do you think that phrase says about the state of baseball today?

EP: Honestly, baseball has always been great. There’s nothing better than spending nine innings at the ball field and competing. I feel as though it focuses on guys celebrating and doing bat flips. I’m all for having fun because it’s a game. If you hit a walkoff home run, people love to do bat flips and I have no problem with it. But if it’s the 5th inning, and you pimp a home run and do a bat flip, I think a lot of people would agree that there will be some deserved retaliation.

PP: I have always found baseball to be fun, no better feeling than taking the mound and competing. People think baseball is too slow of a game but there is a reason it is America’s favorite pastime.

JD: When you were drafted in the 23rd Round, what was your initial reaction?

PP: Being drafted was a bit of a roller coaster. Initially I was really excited, but I had to see my brother be drafted as well. We worked so hard to make our dream a reality that I couldn’t celebrate until he was drafted as well. 

JD: Did it ever cross your mind that your careers might be over when Temple cancelled its baseball program in 2014? How did you deal with that possibility?
EP: It didn’t even cross my mind when they said Temple was cutting their program. I know I can compete with some of the best ball players. I knew I just had to eventually find another school that would fit the best for me academically and athletically. I was a good student at Temple, and that’s really how I was able to transfer. If I wasn’t a good student, it would be tough for me to find another school to go to.

PP: I didn’t think my baseball career was going to be over. There is one thing I’ve learned from all of it and that is to control what you can control. Yes, Temple may have dropped their program but if I worked hard enough I could get drafted or continue my baseball career at another university. 

JD: Did you and your brother intentionally attend the same colleges? Or were those simply the best opportunities for each of you? Why?
EP: Both of us picked where we wanted to go to individually. Out of high school, Temple was pretty much my only option. After the program was cut, we reached out to numerous schools about transferring, and NC State really wanted us to go there. It was a great opportunity and I couldn’t pass it up. It’s a great school and baseball program.

PP: Playing at the same school was not a requirement. Out of high school Temple University was our only offer. After the program was cut, North Carolina State was the best situation to get ourselves into and we both decided to go that direction. NC State gave us the best opportunity when it came to academics and playing at the highest level of college baseball.

JD: If you pitch well on the same day your brother gets shelled, are your parents generally “as happy as their saddest son?”

EP: Honestly, if I pitch well, and Pat doesn’t, it’s always kind of a bummer. I always want to see him do well. I have no idea how my parents feel, but if I do well and he doesn’t, there’s no “bragging” or anything. Because I know very well there will be days where roles will reverse. 

PP: All I can say is that on days Eric pitches I get really nervous. I always want to see my brother pitch well and on days he doesn’t I do get a little upset. I want to see him do well and achieve his main goal of reaching the Major Leagues. 

JD: How do you unwind after a long day?

EP: After being at the field all day, I love to just relax and have a casual drink and watch TV. I normally don’t get home until late so watching the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is my go-to. 

JD: Do you think you and Eric will end up on the same team again at some point? Is that something you’re hoping for? Or do you view that as something out of your control and a matter of luck?

PP: I would say that it is way out of our control. It would be cool to play on the same team again but we know its unlikely.

JD: What’s your stance on the 20-second pitch clock in baseball?

EP: When I got moved up to AA, I forgot they did that up there. At first I would check it, but I have a fast pace on the mound that I have plenty of time. If I’m taking a while, I can already tell and I just step off the mound. 

JD: If you could be the best player in any sport other than baseball, what sport would you choose? What position would you play? What team would you play for? Why?

PP: I love college basketball so I would say maybe a shooting guard. Of course if I had to choose a team it would be NC State. They are a big time basketball school and it would be cool to play in the ACC of course. 

JD: We live in a right-handed world. What part of life, or what physical movement, is the most difficult/frustrating being left-handed?

PP: Eating is always the hardest thing as a left-hander… always bumping elbows with those right-handed people!

JD: Now that you’re a professional and can look back on your high school and collegiate seasons, what advice would you give to the younger player hoping to be in your position in a few years? 

EP: My number one advice would be go to college. I’m sure sometimes the big-money teams offer the high-round guys can be a lot, and I wouldn’t say no to a couple million dollars as an 18 year-old if I had the opportunity. But unless it’s life changing money, you really can’t replace the college experience. You learn so much about yourself as a person, player, and a student.

PP: Best advice I could give is to not specialize in one sport or one position. Play multiple sports as it will make you a more well-rounded athlete. Too many people are playing a sport year round and it’s not good for the athlete. Playing basketball or football can help you improve in some other aspects of baseball. Plus you won’t be worn out from playing the game too much.

Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

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Author: Thrive Nation

Amateur sports journalism blog, primarily posting about the latest happenings in EPL, MLB, NFL, and Boxing.

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