MLB Top Players for 2014 Matt Harvey
There’s an ideal for a perfect arsenal of pitches for a starting pitcher, and Matt Harvey has pretty much realized it. He works off a four-seam fastball that sits between 96 and 97 with some life on it, and he also has a plus slider, a plus curveball and a plus changeup. Check, check, check and mate.
Harvey has unreal command for a pitcher who hasn’t even been active for two full seasons. He walked less than five percent of the batters he faced in 2013, all while throwing close to 50 percent of his pitches in the strike zone. But while he can and will paint the corners with his hard stuff, the one gripe that can be made is that his M.O. is mainly to just get it over the plate and let the raw stuffness of it do the rest.
Harvey was the best strikeout artist in the Senior Circuit with a strikeout rate in the neighborhood of 30 percent, and that’s no surprise seeing as how all four of his pitches are swing-and-miss offerings. To make matters even more unfair, he was maintaining a ground-ball rate in the high 40s. These would be the reasons he was only touched up for a handful of dingers all season long.
Harvey failed to reach the sixth inning just once in 26 starts and failed to reach the seventh only seven times. He was averaging roughly seven innings per outing while also running his pitch count into the 100s with regularity. All he needs now is a track record, and for the Mets to let him off the leash whenever he’s ready to pitch again.
Up until recently, the most serious injury Harvey had suffered in 2013 was a random nosebleed. But then the baseball gods cursed him with a partially torn UCL in his pitching elbow, an injury that will likely require Tommy John surgery to fix and will likely keep Harvey out until late in the 2014 season. But since he’s choosing to rehab his injury instead of going in for Tommy John, his 2014 season may not yet be lost.