Following suit of many high profile draft-day selections, right-handed pitcher Matt Harvey's negotiations came down to the wire before Monday night's deadline to sign 2010 draftees. The seventh overall selection in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft agreed to terms just in the nick of time.
The 21-year-old, hard-throwing, right-hander from the University of North Carolina agreed to a deal that includes a $2.5 million bonus. The Mets are hoping the mature arm of Harvey will eventually earn every penny of his impending contract.
The 6'4", 210-pound pitcher, a native of Groton, CT, passed up on a chance to sign with the Angels after he was drafted by them during the third round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft. Harvey is coming off of an 8-3 spring at UNC in which he posted a 3.09 ERA.
His future looks extremely bright to the Mets because of his age and his ability to mix a variety of off-speed pitches with his fastball. His fastball is said to reach the mid-to-upper 90s. Look for the Mets to attempt to develop him into a strikeout machine.
Harvey has several different paths ahead of him. If he can hold his own in the minors, he'll be on the fast track to the New York Mets. Right now, it is to be expected that the Mets will let him earn experience as a starting pitcher, a role he is very comfortable with. It is still possible that the Mets can experiment with his role.
Don't be surprised if the Mets find better use of his top-notch fastball during the late innings of games. It has been years since the Mets have developed a truly homegrown closer, something that is happening all over baseball with guys like John Axford in Milwaukee, or even Jonny Venters eventually.
Matt Harvey has the makeup of the kind of pitcher the Mets require in any capacity. He has a bright future, and time will tell what role he eventually will serve in the Mets organization.