Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Future Has Arrived

**NOTE** Posting issues, written on Friday, posted on Saturday

Last night was the most excited that I have been for a Mets game in a while. It was the debut of the second best prospect in the Mets farm system (behind Zack Wheeler), Matt Harvey. It was very interesting to watch him pitch yesterday, especially since the Mets rotation has been decimated this season. Only Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey remain from the Opening Day rotation, and Jeremy Hefner is starting every fifth day. Harvey was the 7th overall pick in the 2010 draft and the Mets had big plans for him. They probably didn't want to bring him up this early, since he isn't completely Major League ready, but he is the best option that they have currently.

His ceiling is an ace starter but the most likely peak for him is a very good 2 or 3 starter. He's meant to be a big part of the team for years to come.

His debut, was very encouraging. While he's been coming through the system, the biggest issues that I've heard are; his control issues and his secondary pitches. I expected his fastball to be great, but I wasn't sure about everything else. With the spotlight on him, the biggest moment of his career to this point, he actually delivered.

His fastball averaged 95 MPH, and he was able to blow it by people to get ahead in the counts early. The pitch that has always been considered to be his worst, his changeup, was good when he actually used it. He only threw it 5.7% of the time, but it was a good way to slow down the bat after his powerful fastball. The breaking stuff looked nice, and he was able to get people to chase his slider out of the zone for strikes.

My biggest problem with him is that he threw way too many balls. He walked 3 and out of his 106 pitches, only 65 were strikes. To be successful in the majors, he needs to throw more strikes. He should challenge hitters with his 98 MPH fastball and his above average slider. Eventually the book on him will get out. People will see that he throws his slider out of the zone a lot and it could hurt him. That was the issue with Trevor Bauer (of the Diamondbacks) when he came up earlier this year. He kept trying to force people to chase pitches and most major league hitters are too disciplined to keep fishing. Harvey has good stuff and he has the ability to be successful by throwing a lot of strikes.

He got a double and and single at the plate too! (Silver Slugger?)

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