I really loved this post by Bob Klapisch of The Record this morning on Mets rookie pitching phenom Matt Harvey.
Harvey isn’t just some overhyped prospect being pimped by desperate ownership. To the contrary: Rival executives believe the 23-year-old right-hander is the most gifted rookie pitcher the Mets have produced since Doc Gooden.
Granted, that’s a crazy endorsement for a kid who’s made exactly one major league start. But Harvey’s debut against the Diamondbacks last week was that breathtaking — 11 strikeouts in 5¤ innings, featuring a fastball that ranged between 95-98 mph.
Only Stephen Strasburg, David Price and Jeff Samardzija have better average velocity than what Harvey unleashed against Arizona. And his success wasn’t just married to pure heat. Harvey practically destroyed hitters with an 88-90 mph slider that one talent evaluator called, “unhittable” because of its blistering spin rate.
“You could tell [Arizona’s hitters] weren’t able to pick up the seams,” said the scout. Very few pitchers can disguise their off-speed weapons so effectively. And the ones that do, like Roy Halladay, needed years to master the trick.
You know, it’s one thing when the team and us fans rave about our prospects, but when rival executives and scouts are buzzing too, you know you have something special.
Harvey will take the mound tonight against struggling Giants ace Tim Lincecum. The two-time Cy Young Award winner, is 4-11 with a 5.88 ERA this season.
Harvey of course is coming off his eleven strikeout gem in which he tossed 51/3 shutout innings. Harvey allowed just three hits and walked three in a spectacular major league debut. Tune in tonight for his encore.