Before the season began, the 2012 Minor League Baseball Analyst gave this description of then-Mets prospect Matt Harvey:
“Strong, athletic righty was the seventh pick in the '10 draft. He has a plus 92-95 mph FB that tops out at 98 with good life. He also throws a plus 82-84 mph SL, a CU, and a CB. He has worked hard to develop a more consistent release point and the command improved. Continued progress could mean top-of-the-rotation stuff.”
The Analyst pegged his potential as a No. 1 starter and gave him a 9D designation, meaning he had a 30 percent chance to become an elite player.
Harvey's start against the Diamondbacks on Thursday did nothing to calm those expectations.
Harvey struck out 11, gave up three hits and three walks in 5.1 scoreless innings. His fastball reached 98 mph three times and was still hitting 95 mph in the sixth inning.
Here's the inning-by-inning breakdown of his average fastball velocity:
1 – 95.81 (11 thrown)
2 – 95.58 (12 thrown)
3 – 95.53 (15 thrown)
4 – 95.30 (13 thrown)
5 – 93.25 (8 thrown)
6 – 93.53 (13 thrown)
He threw six different pitches according to MLB.com's pitch/FX data:
Four-seam fastball: Harvey threw 72 of these, by far the most of any pitch on Thursday. Of the 44 strikes he threw with his fastball, 10 were called strikes, 13 were swinging strikes, 18 were foul balls and three came on balls in play. He struck out eight batters with the fastball, two looking. Only one batter managed to get a hit off the heater, Aaron Hill's line drive single with one out in the third.
Two-seam fastball: Harvey threw two of these, one went for a ball and the other was lined for a double.
Cutter: Just one cutter was thrown, an 89-mph pitch that Paul Goldschmidt pulled foul in the sixth. Harvey came back with a 91-mph fastball on the next pitch to strike Goldschmidt out.
Slider: Harvey threw 23 sliders, 14 for strikes. Only two were put in play—a fly out and a pop out—and he struck out three batters with sliders, all swinging.
Change-up: Harvey threw five change-ups, the only strikes were balls put in play: an infield hit in the first inning, a pop out and a ground out. After the game, manager Terry Collins said he'd like to see Harvey throw more change-ups in his next start.
Curveball: Harvey threw three curves, two for strikes, both of which were called.