By Contributing Writer: Nick Stevens
Today, we continue on with Baby Birdland’s Preseason Top 15 Prospects list with #6, RHP Hunter Harvey.
Photo: Patrick Cavey
Last month, I penned a piece about what a successful 2018 would look like for Hunter Harvey. I made the remark that Harvey would begin the year in Bowie after a pleasant rehab performance last year.
I’m sticking to that projection and feel more confident in saying that the Orioles sixth ranked prospect will be pitching at Camden Yards much sooner than we think.
Across three levels (Gulf Coast League, Aberdeen, and Delmarva), Harvey made eight starts, threw 18 innings, gave up just two runs, and finished with a 30/6 K/BB ratio. Harvey surpassed his own expectations after logging only 12 innings since 2014. In a conversation with Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com at FanFest, Harvey had this to say about his 2017 campaign,
"I wasn't expecting to have my command as good as I did, or any of my offspeed pitches," he said. "I didn't have very high expectations going into it and I kinda surprised myself a little bit."
Despite the laundry list of injuries, Harvey has consistently remained in the Top 10 of Orioles prospects since Baltimore made him their first round pick in 2013. There are two reasons for that. One, the Orioles farm system is just now starting to fill with major league talent after being a barren wasteland for years. Second, and the most important reason, is his talent.
Evaluators still grade Harvey’s fastball and curveball as plus-pitches, noting his velocity has remained consistent through the years. He’s fixed his pitch delivery, making it much less violent by adjusting his lower half. Hopefully, the new delivery provides relief to his elbow and keeps him healthy for an entire season.
Spring training is here, ladies and gentlemen. Orioles’ catchers will begin official workouts in the next few days. As for the pitchers, we’ll let you know when the team decides to bring some in. When the starting rotation is putting up 2017 numbers again, Hunter Harvey will be summoned to help. A healthy Hunter Harvey will make his major league debut by the end of July.
Until then, keep following @BabyBirdland, @CoachNick_14, and @CABoemmelJR on Twitter as we bring you all the updates/news/analysis you need of the Orioles’ minor league system.
Be sure to stay tuned as we continue to unveil our Preseason Top 15 Prospects list and check out those that have been revealed thus far on our Top 15 Prospects page!