Matt Harvey. Ranked. And the Verducci Effect is Stupid.

RHarvey Leg Kick (Baron) squareemember Matt Harvey? Yeah, you did not forget.

He landed at #17 on Keith Law’s list of top MLB talents under the age of 25.

Law is as optimistic on Harvey as I can ever remember:

Current: Harvey’s first major-league start was among the most electric I’ve ever seen; for five innings he was throwing fire and brimstone with a vicious slider and a fastball up to 98 mph, which isn’t to denigrate his curve or changeup. He wasn’t that precise package every time out, and his command still isn’t very consistent, but that’s a four-pitch mix that would work in the top two slots of most big-league rotations, right on top if he throws more and better-quality strikes with it.

Future: His delivery is much cleaner today than it was when he was a third-round pick out of high school or a struggling reliever in the Cape Cod League before his junior year of college, so there’s no physical reason he can’t improve his command and control to at least solid-average. He’s also shown the aptitude to make major adjustments to his delivery, which bodes well for his ability to refine his pitching plan and dial back a little to improve his location.

 


Harvey also landed on Tom Verducci’s list of pitchers at increased risk of injury. Apparently, the old “Verducci Rule” is now called the Year-After-Effect. Here’s the really important thing to understand about the Verducci effect: it’s total nonsense. It just does not exist. Matt Cerrone did good work reaching out to Paul dePodesta, who more or less confirmed (again) that the Mets would not have any innings limits on Matt Harvey in 2013.

Deadspin did a thorough review of the literature here. Theories are good. Verducci’s theory was interesting. It has failed subsequent rigorous tests. He should stop writing about it, and everyone else should stop treating it as thought it has any predictive power of any kind.

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