Will Matt Harvey or Jose Fernandez Have the More Dominant MLB Career?

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Will Matt Harvey or Jose Fernandez Have the More Dominant MLB Career?
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

"The best thing since sliced bread" is a distinction many fans use for the young stud on their baseball team.

Los Angeles Dodgers fans use it for Yasiel Puig, while fans of the Washington Nationals use it for Bryce Harper.

Add two pitchers to that list as well.

The next big names on the mound are Matt Harvey of the New York Mets and Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins. Both have shown themselves to be big-time pitchers, despite the struggles of their teams.

But which will have a more dominant career?

 

The Stats

I'm always one who likes to look at stats, and this case is no different.

Career Numbers
Wins IP ERA Ks WHIP
Matt Harvey 12 225 2.36 251 0.95
Jose Fernandez 8 139.2 2.45 149 1.02

ESPN

 

Further Comparison

Fernandez struggled a bit after two great starts to open the season. Over his next three starts, his ERA rose from 0.82 to 4.50.

But all you have to do is look deeper into his numbers, specifically at the velocity of his pitches.

According to Brooks Baseball, Fernandez averages 95.77 mph on his four-seam fastball, 94.16 mph on his sinker, 86.89 mph on his changeup and 82.50 mph on his curveball.

That shows a lot of power and promise...but only if he can keep it up over the course of his career.

At some point, Fernandez will have to learn how to pitch instead of just throw. But for now, his power is working and has led to his success.

Like Fernandez, Harvey has a lot of power in his arm as well.

According to Brooks Baseball, Harvey averages 96.27 mph on his four-seam fastball, 95.99 mph on his sinker, 90.11 mph on his slider, 87.44 mph on his changeup and 83.89 mph on his curveball.

He uses five pitches very well, keeping hitters off-balance.

The biggest thing on Harvey's side is that he's done it for more than a season. He was successful in 2012 and has been successful again this year.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

 

From the Outside

Being an Atlanta Braves fan, I have had the opportunity to watch both pitchers pitch in more than just nationally-televised games.

From the outside, both look like they have the stuff that can last a long time.

But, I also grew up being spoiled by the likes of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz.

The reason those three pitchers will eventually be in the Hall of Fame is the fact that they didn't just throw the ball...they pitched.

Pitching is all about location, arm slot and fooling the hitter. You can only fool a hitter with your speed for so long. Eventually, hitters will have studied enough tape on you to figure you out.

That's how the likes of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior bombed as starters. Hitters began to figure them out and it was curtains from there.

The pitcher that can learn to harness his energy and just pitch will have a greater career. Eventually, the dazzle will wear off the arm. If either wants to continue a big-league career, they'll have to learn the intricacies of pitching.

I'm not saying they can't throw heat over the entirety of their career, but a Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson come along once in a blue moon. 

 

Verdict

In reality, comparing the two is like a debate between 1A and 1B. 

Both will have good careers, but if I had to choose one, I would have to go with Harvey being better.

There's more to go off on Harvey, and it's my firm belief that the Mets will actually get better and be able to provide more run support for Harvey.

The same can't be said for Fernandez and the Marlins.

He could move to another team via trade or free agency (in six years), but that's still a wait-and-see. New York is going to have the pocketbook to keep Harvey in town throughout his career, and he will at some point have an offense behind him.

In the end, a pitcher's career is measured on wins and losses. Hall of Fame voters don't look at quality starts. They want to know if you won ballgames.

As it currently stands, Harvey is the one more likely to do that.

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