If there’s one pitching prospect you know entering 2013, it had better be Matt Harvey.
Two-thirds the way through his sophomore season as a pro ball player, Harvey took the mound for the Mets. In his first career start he shut down the Diamondbacks over 5.1 innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits while striking out 11. That’s exactly the kind of pitcher Harvey can be. He has a powerful fastball that clocks in at 94.7 mph on average, and he mixes four different pitches at least 10% of the time.
While Harvey’s 2012 stats are exciting, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to repeat his 1.15 WHIP. He was the beneficiary of a .262 BABIP last season that severely depressed his OBA, and his 24.5% line-drive rate tells me that BABIP was the luck fueled product of small sample size.
Still, Harvey induced infield flies 15.4% of the time (the league average was 10.0%), and infield flies are a great indicator of how solid/weak the opponent’s contact is. That infield fly rate and Harvey’s strikeout rate are hallmarks of a future ace. It’s still very early to anoint him the Mets’ savior, but I’d be very surprised if Harvey doesn’t at least develop into a good number two starter.
At a Glance
Strengths: K, K/9, QS
Neutral: W, L, ERA, WHIP, IP
Best-case scenario: Yu Darvish (TEX)
Likely scenario: Yovani Gallardo (MIL), Jeff Samardzija (CHC), Lance Lynn (STL)
Worst-case scenario: Bud Norris (HOU)
Matt Harvey 2013 Fantasy Projection
Harvey won’t turn 24 years old until just before the start of the season, so while he’s full of talent, he’s short on experience. He certainly has the potential to dominate batters with one of the best K:BB ratios in the league, but for the immediate future it seems like he’ll have a slight issue with walks. He strikes out enough batters that it shouldn’t plague him too much, but it will probably have adverse effects on his WHIP in the short term.
I’m extremely excited about Harvey, and he’s someone that I’ll be targeting in all of my drafts this year. For people in keeper leagues, move Harvey way up your draft boards. He has elite fantasy potential, and he could start delivering on that as soon as this year.