Player: Hunter Harvey
Drafted by: Baltimore Orioles (No. 22 Overall)
DOB: 12/9/1994 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’3”/175 lbs
School: Bandys High School (N.C.)
College Commitment: Uncommitted
Hunter Harvey’s baseball bloodlines run deep, as his father, Bryan, spent nine seasons as a reliever in the major leagues—though that’s a bit of an understatement. A 6’3” right-hander, Bryan led the American League with 46 saves in 1991 and notched another 45 in 1993. In both seasons, he was named to the A.L. All-Star team and placed within the top 10 in the league’s Cy Young voting.
Overall, he registered a 2.49 ERA with 177 saves and a 10.4 K/9 while appearing in 322 games. But he was out of baseball by the 1996 season due to ongoing elbow problems.
Like his father, Hunter is an athletic right-hander with a projectable frame and lots of arm strength. However, unlike most of the other prep pitchers expected to hear their name called on June 6, his exposure in front of scouts was minimal last summer, as he chose to play locally (North Carolina) rather than pitch on the showcase circuit.
As a result, scouts have been flocking to each of his starts this spring for Bandys High School. And based upon his rapid ascent up the draft board, it’s safe to assume that they like what they’ve seen.
One interesting tidbit about Harvey is that he’s currently uncommitted for the 2014 season—a product of his desire to begin a professional career rather than pitch at the collegiate level for the next several years. And he certainly hasn’t tried to mask his desire to turn pro, telling The Charlotte Observer, “I really just want to go straight to playing (professional) baseball and not have to play college ball. I just want to play baseball, and I feel lucky I’m ready.”
Basically, signability won’t be issue with Harvey.
Due to his preference for playing locally, Harvey has faced comparatively weak competition over the last three seasons. However, with a mid-90s fastball and potential plus-plus curveball, the concern will become moot when the right-hander has his name called on Day 1.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average, with the current score first and projected score second.
Highly projectable 6’3”, 175-pound frame with room to add considerable strength; lean, athletic build; stays tall throughout delivery to create downhill plane; pauses at the height of his motion to gather momentum.
Glides front leg towards plate rather than stepping over, which limits explosiveness of front side; too reliant on pure arm strength; works from high three-quarters arm slot; mechanics suggest a risk for future injury and will need to be cleaned up by drafting organization; fast, fluid arm action.
Sits 90-94 mph and can reach back for a few extra ticks; velocity stands to increase once mechanical issues are ironed out; throws pitch on downhill plane with some late life.
Currently his best offering; potential plus-plus out-pitch at the next level; fast arm helps generate tight rotation and late bite; can get on the side of it at times and give it more lateral break, though the variation has been equally effective.
Although he does have a changeup, the right-hander has rarely had to use it; quick arm and effectiveness of fastball-curveball suggest it could be at least an average offering; will be vital toward overall development at the next level.
More of a thrower than a pitcher at the moment, as expected; mechanics—specifically his front leg and hips—hinder his ability to consistently pound the strike zone.
Demonstrates a feel for both his fastball and curveball; command has played up as an amateur due to inferior competition; does a good job of working low in the zone; should feature slightly above-average command once mechanics are cleaned up.
MLB Player Comparison: Jarrod Parker
Projection: Low No. 2, high No. 3 starter.
MLB ETA: 2017
Chances of Signing: 99.9%