Mets top pitching prospect Matt Harvey had everyone abuzz yesterday after an electric early spring performance while facing live batters.
Teammates, coaches and everyone on hand raved about his velocity, his command, and the wicked movement on his breaking pitches. The baseball exploded out of his hand and bore down on hitters. Harvey exhibited a tremendous amount of mound presence and a confidence that caught Terry Collins’ immediate attention.
The reviews are in:
“Did you see him? (Bleeping) unbelievable. The last one he threw to me started on my hip. I jumped out of the way and it was down the middle. You don’t see that on an everyday basis.” ~ Josh Thole
“Obviously, these guys aren’t throwing as hard as they can and breaking it off as hard as they can, but his mechanics are real smooth and when he stays on top of the ball it jumps out of his hand. He’s got tremendous run and it just keeps on going. I’d like to see him when he’s in a game throwing 97 like he can, with that movement — it can be pretty nasty.” ~ Ike Davis
“Obviously, that’s a pretty impressive looking pitcher. The thing besides his stuff, this guy’s makeup is off the chart. You can see he has an edge to him. He’s bound and determined to make this team. He talks to every coach about it. What do I need to do? How do I make this team? It’s got to be the right time, the right moment and the right situation…but once in a while they dictate when they come.” ~ Terry Collins
So what did Harvey have to say after his first real test of the Spring?
“I just want to play. I feel like if you don’t have the mindset of trying to make the team, then you’re kind of lost already. I’m here to make the team. In my mind that’s what I’m going to try and do. I’m always going to have that mentality.”
It’s pretty exciting when you consider that Harvey has only one pro season under his belt. Last season, the young right-hander split time between the Single-A St. Lucie Mets and Double-A Binghamton where he went 13-5 with a 3.32 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 135.2 innings pitched.
From the moment he threw his first pitch as a Met, Harvey has done nothing but impress… and mow batters down.
He won’t be rushed, but that doesn’t mean he won’t push the envelope and force the Mets’ hand if he continues to dominate.
I’m going to love following Matt Harvey’s progress this season. He gives me hope that things are going to be pretty special for the Mets before too long. It’s been a long time since a Mets pitching prospect has stirred that kind of emotion from me.