Top 12 prospects for 2012: #1

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Welcome to the final installment of the top 12 prospects for 2012. Without further delay, here is the number one prospect in the Mets minor league system:

1. Matt Harvey-  P

HEIGHT: 6’4”

WEIGHT: 240

THROWS: R         BATS: R

BORN: 3/27/1989

COLLEGE: U.N.C.

ACQUIRED: 7th pick (1st round) of 2010 draft

Matt Harvey 11

(Photo Courtesy of Michael Baron)

After he was drafted 7th overall in the 2010 draft, Mets fans bloggers, coaches—you name it—had high expectations for this young pitcher fresh out of the University of North Carolina. After one year in pro ball, we are all even more impressed than we thought possible. Matt, who throws a fastball that tops out at around 97 MPH, a deadly 12-6 curve, as well as a changeup and slider, which are both developing, had a fantastic season in Single-A and Double-A last year.

Matt started out if the Florida State League, a league stuffed with some of the best raw talent in the minor leagues, and dominated. He went 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA over 76 innings, which of course, earned him a promotion to AA Binghamton. Up in Binghamton, he wasn’t great, but he worked through a tough first three starts and bounced back and ended his season in the Eastern League with a 5-3 record and a 4.53 ERA. The numbers that impressed me most, however from last season, were his walk and strikeout numbers. In 135.2 innings, Harvey struck out 156 batters, while walking only 47. That’s very impressive considering his promotion and strugglex in AA. Here is a look at some of Harvey’s other numbers from last year:

Year Tm Lg Lev W L ERA G GS IP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2011 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-AA 13 5 3.32 26 26 135.2 1.268 8.3 0.6 3.1 10.3
2011 St. Lucie FLOR A+ 8 2 2.37 14 14 76.0 1.197 7.9 0.6 2.8 10.9
2011 Binghamton EL AA 5 3 4.53 12 12 59.2 1.358 8.7 0.6 3.5 9.7
1 Season 13 5 3.32 26 26 135.2 1.268 8.3 0.6 3.1 10.3

Many “experts” are projecting Harvey as a solid number two starter, but I would take that a step forward and say that I  see him becoming an ace of a staff if he can develop his changeup and slider into average to above average big league pitches. At 240 pounds, he has the build to be a workhorse on the mound, and scouts have raved about his ability to go deep into games physically. He seems to have most of the tools needed to succeed. I’d say that he could pitch in 2012 for the Mets, but it would be best if the organization waited until 2013.  You don’t want to rush a top pitcher like this, not only putting too much pressure on him, but also not giving him the experience needed to do well. He has to be given a chance to fail. The only way to get stronger is to overcome challenges. So far, Harvey hasn’t faced too many challenges. The Mets have to remember that he has pitched just one full pro season so far in his career. When he gets to the majors, he could make a big impact, immediately jumping into the Met rotation.

The list so far (click to view posts):

1. Matt Harvey

2. Zack Wheeler

3. Brandon Nimmo

4. Jeurys Familia

5. Jenrry Mejia

6. Wilmer Flores

7. Reese Havens

8. Kirk Nieuwenhuis

9. Cesar Puello

10.Darin Gorski

11.Michael Fulmer

12.Cory Vaughn

Come back on Monday for a bonus!

About Connor O'Brien
I'm a 16 year-old blogger, high school student, and lifelong Mets fan. I've been blogging about the Mets in some form or another for about four years. I embrace the new age, sabermetric way of thinking, but also recognize the importance of scouting and player devlopment.

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