The Orioles grabbed right handed pitcher Hunter Harvey as their first selection (22nd overall pick) in Thursday’s MLB First-Year Player Draft. Harvey, 6′ 3″ 175 pounds, is the son of former two-time All-Star closer Bryan Harvey who spent nine years in the big leagues with the Angels and Marlins.
Harvey’s older brother, Kris, was selected in the fifth round out of high school as a catcher and the second round out of Clemson by the Marlins in 2005. He’s converted to pitching and is at Double-A Altoona, in the Pirates organization.
The slender righty, out of Bandys High School in North Carolina, throws a fastball between 89-92 MPH, a curveball between 74-77 MPH and a changeup between 79-82 MPH. Some reports indicate that Harvey’s arm slot and landing spot could be tweaked for higher velocity on his fastball. MLB Network reported that Harvey’s fastball clocked in at 97 MPH.
All indications are that Harvey projects to be a starter in the big leagues. The Orioles will work to improve his mechanics and add more arm strength.
From Baseball America’s Conor Glassey on August 4, 2012:
With his thin, 6-foot-3, 168-pound frame, Harvey has plenty of room to fill out and add strength. His fastball sat in the 89-92 mph range with good downhill plane and he mixed in a 74-77 mph curveball that showed flashes of being a quality pitch and an occasional 79-82 mph changeup.
From ESPN.com’s Keith Law on April 17, 2013:
He was 90-93 mph with his fastball for five innings, with his 75-77 mph curveball his out pitch against hitters on both sides of the plate; he varied the shape of the breaking ball, although I’m not sure how deliberate that was, throwing some with real two-plane break and depth and others that were more vertical as he’d try to hit the inside corner to right-handers. He showed the willingness to work inside with his fastball to left- and right-handed hitters, but not the ability to locate it consistently, walking or hitting several batters despite the fact that he had a four-run lead before he took the mound.
MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko points out that Harvey was 8-0 with a 0.38 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings at Bandys High School. He was ranked as the seventh-best right handed pitcher in the draft by Baseball America.