Former Mainland star Chase Petty enjoying the challenges of professional baseball

by Marc Narducci | Jul 7, 2022
Former Mainland star Chase Petty enjoying the challenges of professional baseball

It is nearing the first anniversary since former Mainland standout Chase Petty had the experience of a lifetime when he was selected in the first round of the MLB draft.

A hard-throwing right-hander, Petty was selected 26th overall on July 11, 2021, by the Minnesota Twins. He was signed to a $2.5 million bonus and spent the rest of the summer pitching for the Twins’ Florida Complex League team in rookie ball and then he experienced the true business side of the game when in March Petty was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for right-hander Sonny Gray. 

When healthy, there is an argument for ranking Gray among the top 20 pitchers in baseball.

“It was crazy,” Petty said about the trade-in in a phone interview, “but you have to take the good with the bad.”

So that is exactly what he did. “The bad was having to get comfortable in a new place, but I had to look at the bigger picture,” Petty said. “I got traded for a big leaguer and an All-Star and have to understand the value the Reds placed on me.”

The Reds were looking to trim their payroll. At the time of the trade, Gray was in the third year of a four-year $38 million deal.

A two-time All-Star, the 32-year-old Gray has pitched well for Minnesota, with a 4-1 record and 2.17 ERA in his first 10 starts this season. It shows how much Petty was valued to be traded for such an accomplished pitcher.

So now Petty is pitching for the Red's Low Class-A Affiliate, the Daytona Tortugas.

In his first 14 appearances, including nine starts, Petty had shown some positive signs. He was 0-2, but with a 3.29 ERA.

Owner of a 100 MPH fastball, Petty had 48 strikeouts in 52 innings, striking out 8.3 batters per nine innings.

His biggest adjustment? “Just learning to become more of a pitcher,” he said. “That is what this game is about, developing every day.”

One of his best appearances came in his last start in June. On June 28, he pitched five scoreless innings and wasn’t involved in the decision during a 5-1 loss to the Palm Beach Cardinals.

Petty allowed just three hits, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

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Even though Petty is playing a kid’s game, this is a job. The key for any baseball player, especially with a large number of games, is handling both the mental and physical parts of the game.

“It’s a grind every day and I have been doing it for almost a year now and I am starting to figure things out,” he said.

There will be plenty of figuring out to do for somebody who just turned 19 in April. Yet, Petty loves what he is doing and realizes how fortunate he is to be a professional baseball player.

“At the end of the day you are playing baseball for a living,” he said. “If you have a bad day, you have to look at the bigger picture.”

And in baseball, there is always the next game to prove yourself.

Being a minor league player, regardless of where you were drafted, is a difficult job, but there is so much that is rewarding about being able to climb the ladder.

 Petty has already experienced the ups and downs but is grateful for the chance to keep working every day on his eventual dream to be a big-league player. 

Photo Credit: Aldrin Capulong /Daytona Tortugas

Author: Marc Narducci


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