Most batters do a U-turn when Kankakee's Peters is on the mound
Devin Peters is an easy guy to find: Just look among the lists of pitching leaders in Division II of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Through May 5, the sophomore starting pitcher for Kankakee Community College had an 8-1 record, ranking him No. 11 in Division II. He also had a 2.00 earned-run average, which ranked 15th.
Peters has limited opposing hitters to a collective batting average of .186 and averaged 8.29 strikeouts per nine innings, with 58 strikeouts notched in 63 innings. With only 19 walks allowed in that span, his strikeout-to-walk ratio was a little better than 3 to 1.
Almost across the board, Peters' 2017 season is an improvement over his 2016 efforts, when he had more strikeouts per nine innings at 9.48 but also a higher ERA at 4.48; batters also hit a little better against him, at .222.
Peters, a native of Churubusco, Indiana, told the Kankakee Times that he started working more on his slider and two-seam fastball in the offseason.
“I also got a lot more work in with my legs, figuring out better drive to home plate, causing me to throw a lot harder this season,” he said. “We also put a lot of work into our mechanics in the offseason this year.”
Peters said he entered the season knowing that he had to become more of a leader on the team and think ahead to when his eligibility at KCC runs out this year.
“I think I've just been putting in that extra work to make it to the next level next year,” he said.
Baseball has been a natural fit for Peters since he was about 6 years old, he said.
“I mean, the second I grabbed the baseball and bat, I mean, I just loved the game," he said. "I just started playing and loved it. Never really got tired of it."
Peters said his favorite thing about baseball is overcoming failure.
“The mental toughness you need in baseball and the heart and desire you've got to put in compared to other sports, where you can mistake in a different sport and it won't be noticed as much, compared to baseball, where it can affect the whole entire game,” he said.
Next season, Peters will be playing for Ashland University in Ohio, an NCAA Division II school. This summer, he will play for the Eau Claire Express in the Northwoods League.
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