MMO Mets Top 20 Prospects – #3 Matt Harvey, RHP

The difference between the #2 and the #3 Top Mets Prospect is so small, you can’t even see it from here. You would need some extreme magnification to see the difference between these two players. And since someone has to be 3rd, I flipped a coin, of course I’m kidding, I studied long and hard. I crunched the number’s, I poured over reams of scouting reports, made coffee, I went on dozens of websites, read countless people’s opinions, ate some power-bars, studied hours of video, interviewed a boatload of hitters who faced them, I talked to their parents, their managers, their trainers, their coaches (one made me buy him lunch but he shall remain nameless, you know who you are), I studied pie-charts of body fat indexes, made some more coffee, I even went so far as to call a single-A catcher on the phone in Venezuela at 5 am (his time), to ask him whose slider breaks more. So it’s not like a whole lot of analysis didn’t go into this decision. I haven’t even slept in several days.

So without further delay, it is my extreme pleasure to announce, the MMO 2012 Mets #3 Top Prospect, 6’4″ right-hander, Matt Harvey. Matt is pretty well known to us Mets fans, because he is the highest Mets draft pick since they took Phillip Humber 3rd overall, in 2004. Harvey, who went 7th overall in the 2010 draft, was taken two spots ahead of big Mike Pelfrey, who was 9th overall in 2005. Harvey was a three-year college pitcher out of the University of North Carolina, and he brought with him size, strength, experience, and two fairly advanced pitches in his four-pitch arsenal. Of course Harvey signed too late in the summer of 2010 to begin his professional career, which pushed his minor league debut ahead to the start of the 2011 season.

He began the year as the SP1 at St. Lucie, Advanced A, in the Florida State League. He teamed with Darin Gorski to give the St. Lucie Mets a lethal one-two punch at the top of their rotation. In his first 14 professional starts, covering 76 innings, Harvey went: 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA, he allowed just 67 hits and 5 HR’s, while striking out 92 and walking 24. The league was hitting .238 against him and his WHIP was 1.20 when he got called up to Binghamton at mid-season.

He ran into a speed-bump when he got to AA which lasted exactly three starts, during that time he got knocked around a little bit. Did I forget to mention that Harvey is a total bull-dog, and very competitive? When he ran into adversity, he took the bull by the horns, he grilled Wally Backman, his manager, and Ricky Bones the pitching coach as to what he needed to do to master the Eastern League, and tame it’s hitters, he worked tirelessly, he made an adjustment here and there, and by his fourth start, he was beginning to dominate again, business as usual. So much for speed bumps. He finished the year with 12 AA starts, going 5-3 with a 4.53 ERA.

Harvey throws his fastball 94-96 mph, topping out at 97, with good arm-side run. He has a 12-6 hammer curve that has plus, plus potential. He is working on a change-up and slider. Harvey has excellent size and strength and the ability to pitch deep into ball games. He should have no trouble starting in the bigs, but it all hinges on the development of his change-up. With only 135.2 innings pitched as a professional, the Mets will be in no hurry to promote Harvey to the big leagues. They will give him all the time he needs to work on his secondary offerings and his fastball command. Although we won’t be seeing Harvey at Citifield in 2012, barring an injury, we will be seeing him at Citifield in 2013.

Matt Harvey pitching to Wilmer Flores video, ST 2011

Check back on Monday when we unveil the #2 ranked player on our list!

2012 MMO Top 20 Prospects

3.   Matt Harvey                 RHP

4.   Jenrry Mejia                 OF

5.   Brandon Nimmo          OF

6.   Kirk Nieuwenhuis         OF

7.   Juan Lagares               OF

8.   Wilmer Flores              INF

9.   Cesar Puello                RF

10.  Reese Havens             2B

11.  Cory Mazzoni             RHP

12.  Jordany Valdespin      INF

13.  Darin Gorski               LHP

14.  Phillip Evans              SS

15.  Jefry Marte                  3B

16.  Collin McHugh           RHP

17.  Juan Urbina               LHP

18.  Akeel Morris              RHP

19.  Michael Fulmer          RHP

20.  Danny Muno               INF