Our own Craig Lerner came up with several bold predictions of his own last week, so I thought I would throw my own into the mix.
We saw the triumphant debut of the Mets 2010 1st-round draft pick Matt Harvey, providing one of very few bright spots in an otherwise dreary second half of the 2012 season. He came up and looked like the pitcher we have been told about, and in many cases dreamed about. Pitching to a 2.73 ERA, the same exact figure of teammate and likely Cy Young award-winner R.A. Dickey, Harvey was absolutely dominant. Now that the allure of a rookie campaign is over, we have to wonder if we can expect such a high level of performance from Harvey for years to come.
My answer to that question is yes. In the 10 starts he had in 2012, I don’t believe everyone realizes just how solid Harvey was. In addition to the fantastic ERA, the rookie had 70 punchouts in only 59.1 innings pitched, that’s a 10.6 SO/9!
He didn’t necessarily rack up the win totals hoped for going 3-5, however you could target most of the blame on the absence of any offensive production on the part of the Mets lineup. In many cases, Harvey had to provide his own offense! In the 21 times Matt Harvey stepped up to the plate, his OPS of .778 was only eclipsed by David Wright and Scott Hairston.
When I was in the press conference at Citi Field prior to Matt Harvey’s final start of the year, Terry Collins was asked what he wanted from Harvey this winter, he replied: “Nothing, all I want from him is not to get hurt.”
Then went on to label Harvey a “consistent winner”. Hmm, ‘consistent‘ and ‘winner‘, haven’t seen much of either from many Mets over the past four years.
To give you an idea of just how good Matt Harvey was in his rookie campaign, I stretched his stats out for you over a full season and compared them to those of R.A. Dickey’s.
The major factor for Matt Harvey of course would be actually putting these numbers up over the course of a full season and not just ten starts. However if he can maintain his level of play from 2012 and continue it throughout 2013, the Cy Young would not be out of his grasp. He is a gamer, someone who much like Ike Davis, has a fire under him and is someone who cannot stand the idea of losing and someone I truly believe will indeed be in the mix for the Cy Young award come summer 2013.
Not only that, but picture a rotation with Dickey and Harvey pitching at this level at the top of the rotation.
…Oh wait we don’t have to picture it anymore, it’s no longer a fantasy…It’s here.