On Matt Harvey and the Draft

I find draft time a little overwhelming.  I have opinions on over 100 Mets minor leaguers of varying intensity based on their performance, some scouting information and conversations with Mets people.  I see loads of minor league baseball annually.  Some guys have hundreds, if not thousands of professional AB.  On the flip side, I see very little amateur baseball – somewhere in the range of 1-6 games annually.  The statistics are relatively unimportant.  So almost everything I know about the Mets’ Matt Harvey and really everyone else in the draft is secondary, from some other writer or analyst.

With that said, I like the Harvey pick.

I like RHP who throw hard.  Harvey was up to 96-97 this spring.  According to Steve Popper for Baseball America, incredibly, on his last pitch of his 157 pitch outing against Clemson, Harvey tossed a 96 mph fastball.

As a hard-throwing college RHP, the Mike Pelfrey comparisons are pretty obvious, and in fact, Mets Scouting Director Rudy Terrassas compared Harvey to Pelfrey on his conference call after the Harvey pick.

“What we have here is a power arm,” Terrasas said. “He’s a guy that has
four pitches — a fastball that ranges anywhere from 91-98, throws
slider anywhere from 83-85, a curve from 83-79 and a changeup from
83-81. He’s a guy that has four pitches and uses all of them, and as for
comparing him to a guy that’s in the big leagues, he’s kind of in the
mold of a Mike Pelfrey … a strong, durable body with a good arm.” (as quoted by Tim Bontemps in the New York Post)

As a Boras client, Harvey will be expensive, but usually Boras clients do end up signing.  However, Boras knows how the system works and that guys who hold out the longest get paid the most, so I would be surprised to see Harvey sign much before the August 15 deadline.  I wonder if the Mets will try to get him signed early for that all-important Brooklyn Cyclones playoff push.  Among Boras clients, I much prefer Harvey to Zack Cox, who the Mets passed on.

Harvey had a subpar sophomore season (5.40 ERA, 42 BB, 81 K, 75 IP) but bounced back in a big way in 2010, his junior year (4.16 ERA, 161 K, 89 BB, 142.2 IP).  Multiple sources are suggesting that his rough sophomore year was due to some mechanical issues that he had mostly cleaned up by his junior year.

Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus approved of the pick too.

Up next:

After Harvey, the Mets won’t pick again until #89 at the beginning of the third round.  Boston owns the Mets’ second round pick at #57 as compensation for the Jason Bay signing.  Also, Boston had the #20 and #39 picks from the Braves as compensation for the Wagner signing.  At #20, the Sox drafted Kolbrin Vitek, a 2B from Ball State and at #39, the Sox selected LSU’s Anthony Ranaudo, who entered the year as the top collegiate arm but struggled with an elbow injury and as a Boras guy will command big money.