Matt Harvey: Better in the Bigs?

Last night, Matt Harvey was one of the few, if not the only bright spot, in the Mets rather dreary 2-0 loss to the Washington Nationals.

The 23-year old’s line: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 1 HR. He left the bases loaded for Robert Carson in the sixth who induced two pop-outs and a flyout to strand Harvey’s three runners. ┬áNow nine starts into his Major League career, Harvey is second on the team, among all pitchers with 50 innings, with a 2.92 ERA, trailing only R.A. Dickey and his 2.68 ERA. He’s striking out 11 batters per nine innings.

I will happily confess I did not expect him to be this good, this soon. Apparently, I’m not the only one. This is Mets’ manager Terry Collins recounting a series of conversations with Wally Backman, who has seen every single one of Harvey’s starts this year, “When Wally says, ‘I never saw that. I never saw kind of stuff,’ it tells you how he can raise his game….” said Collins (as quoted by Adam Rubin at ESPNNY). So, the stuff is better. How’s it playing?

So, lets go to the numbers to compare Harvey’s AAA performance to his MLB debut.
Basic


ERA G/GS

IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP
AAA 3.68 20/20 110 97 46 45 9 48 112 6 9
MLB 2.92 9/9 52.33 41 18 17 4 23 63 3 3

Advanced


BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB HR/9 H/9 R/9 BB% SO% HR% Strike % TBF
AAA 3.9 9.2 2.3 0.7 7.9 3.8 10.1 23.7 1.9 61.9 473
MLB 4.0 10.8 2.7 0.7 7.1 3.1 10.4 28.4 1.8 63.2 222

 

So, statistically, he’s been largely the same pitcher in the big leagues as he was in AAA. However, his strikeout rate has moved up from 24% in AAA to 28% in the big leagues, and he’s thrown a smidge more strikes from 62% to 63%. All the same, he’s walking the same number of batters 10%, giving up the same number of homers (1.8% to 1.9%). His hit rate against has stayed constant.

The thing is that he’s better, because he’s getting the same results against the best competition in the world.

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