Michael Petersen

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Michael Kenechukwu Petersen

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Biographical Information[edit]

Michael Petersen' has pitched for the Great Britain national team before making his major league debut in 2024.

Petersen was born in England but moved to the US when he was one year old. [1] picked by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 19th round of the 2012 amateur draft out of high school, the first of four teams he would be drafted. He was picked the same round as Josh Hader. Going on to junior college, he was taken by the Texas Rangers in the 31st round of the 2013 amateur draft, one round after they took Joe Palumbo. Switching to another junior college, he went to the San Francisco Giants in the 24th round of the 2014 amateur draft. The Milwaukee Brewers selected him in the 17th round of the 2015 amateur draft (one pick after Evan Phillips) and he finally signed. The scout was Josh Belovsky. [2]

He was 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in four games for the 2015 AZL Brewers for a fine pro debut. In 2016, he fell to 1-3, 7.71 for the Helena Brewers. Returning to Helena in 2017, he again was 1-3, with a slightly improved ERA (6.41). He came to full-season ball with the '18 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and showed progress, also moving full-time to relief (2-1, 4 Sv, 3.46 in 32 G). He was 1-2 with two saves and a 3.00 ERA for the 2019 Carolina Mudcats, walking 34 in 54 innings but fanning 65 and allowing a .186 opponent average. The Colorado Rockies took him in the minor league portion of the 2019 Rule V Draft. [3]

The 2020 minor league season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. He was presumably injured as he did not appear in 2021 and only pitched one inning (scoreless, fanning two) for the ACL Rockies in 2022. Having been born in England, he played for the British team in the 2022 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. His first outing, he relieved Chris Reed with a 14-4 lead in the 8th against France. He struck out Bastien Dagneau and Daniel Patrice then Paolo Brossier flew out. That ended the game due to the mercy rule. His other appearance came versus Spain, with the winner advancing to the 2023 World Baseball Classic. He replaced Michael Roth with a 5-4 lead in the 7th, the first pitcher Britain turned to that day who did not have MLB experience (Vance Worley having preceded Roth). He allowed a single to Jesús Ustariz, fanned Chris Kwitzer but allowed a Edison Valerio double to tie it. He recovered to strike out Lesther Galván and Gabriel Lino to give him five Ks in two innings for the event. Donovan Benoit relieved him and Britain would win to earn a spot in the World Baseball Classic for the first time. Oddly, Petersen had pitched more innings in the short event than in the past three years of pro ball. He tied Benoit, Worley and Tahnaj Thomas for the team lead in appearances. He also tied Yoimer Camacho, Roniel Raudes and Enzo Sawayama for the 4th-most Ks by a relief pitcher in the event. [4]

He played for Great Britain again in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, pitching one scoreless inning. He then split that season between the AA Hartford Yard Goats and AAA Albuquerque Isotopes, going 2-2, 4.10 in 41 games. He struck out 49 batters and walked 25 in 41 2/3 innings in his first extended playing time since before the Pandemic. He became a free agent following the season and signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had him begin the year in AAA with the Oklahoma City Baseball Club. In 23 games, he was doing very well, with a record of 2-0, 1.61 and 4 saves, when he got the call to L.A. He made his debut on June 18th, as the fourth of six pitchers in a wild 11-9 win over his former team, the Colorado Rockies. He gave up one run on a hit and a walk while striking out two in two innings, but was the beneficiary of a seven-run outburst by his teammates in the top of the 9th, handing him the victory. Because of the numerous delays in getting his career into gear, he had turned 30 a month earlier when he made that maiden big league appearance.


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