Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/17/14

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 27: (L-R) Infielder Ken Harvey #28 and outfielder David DeJesus #9 of the Kansas City Royals joke around during photo day on February 27, 2004 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Former First Baseman Ken Harvey is from Los Angeles, CA but like most Cali boys who graduate from Beverly Hills High School he became a Cornhusker at Nebraska. Harvey did work in college and was named an All-American and First Team Big 12 in 1999. Harvey committed Teddy Williams that year and hit .478 setting the new Big 12 batting average record. The 1999 Nebraska team was most known for beating Chicago State 50-3 on the back end of a doubleheader (they won 15-3 the first game). Harvey hit 2 bombs and crossed home plate 7 times (Nebraska record).

The Kansas City Royals in the 5th round of the 1999 MLB Draft selected none other than Ken Harvey. Ken quickly worked his way up to the majors hitting well over .300 and racking up hits on hits in the road to the show. Unfortunately for Harvey the best player on the Royals at the time was the legend himself, Mike Sweeney. This actually forced Ken’s move to left field later in his career. Harvey made his debut in September 2001 but only got 12 AB’s. In 2003 Harvey had a fairly solid rookie year. In 485 AB’s he hit 30 doubles, 13 homers, 64 RBI’s with a .266 BA.

The next year Harvey finally translated in the bigs, and broke out hitting .305, 10 homers, and 34 RBI’s in the first half of the season However, he finished with 456 AB’s resulting in 131 hits, 20 doubles, 13 homers, 55 RBI’s, and a .287 BA. His big-time start earned him a trip to Houston for the 2004 All-Star Game as the only representative of KC. Harvey pinch hit for the winning pitcher Mark Mulder, but unfortunately went 0-1. Harvery proved time and time again he had the potential, but as you can assume Harvey significantly struggled in the 2nd half and was sent down to Omaha.

You would think a young All-Star would rebound, but in 2005 Harvey was still not the same, and batted .222 fighting continuous back problems. He was released by the Royals and went to Spring Training with the Minnesota Twins in 2006, but this did not work out.

Harvey then signed with the Kansas City T-Bones in the Northern League, and then the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the Atlantic League.

You really would expect a player of Harvey’s caliber to at least play for the Yomiuri Giants or the Nippon-Ham Fighters…and not the same team as John Halama.

-Schotz

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