Matt Harvey, a starting pitcher in the New York Mets organization, is the latest highly touted prospect to get the call. He will start Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Arizona. He will replace Miguel Batista, who was designated for assignment Sunday, in the rotation. Expectations are high but as Harvey stated earlier this week, “I can’t do what I can’t do. All I can do is go out and do the best I can and see what goes from there, minor adjustments are going to be made. I’m not going to change my whole repertoire.” Below, I will go over his profile as well as his fantasy value in yearly leagues and his long term potential in keepers/dynasty leagues.
Harvey is a 23 year old right handed starting pitcher for the Mets who stands 6’4 and weighs 210 pounds with a fastball that reaches up to 98 MPH and very a good changeup. He was originally drafted in the third round in 2007 by Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim but opted not to sign and instead attended the University of North Carolina. After three years at UNC he was then drafted by the Mets in the first round in 2010, #7 overall. He was ranked the #38th best prospect in baseball by Keith Law coming into the season and ranked as the 9th best fantasy prospect on July 20th prior to his call up by Kevin Goldstein in his top 12 fantasy prospects. The top 12 fantasy prospects rankings are a bit different from other prospect rankings; these are strictly for 2012 fantasy purposes. So not only does talent and recent performance play a role in the rankings but potential paths to the big leagues also factor in. In his two seasons in the minors Harvey is 20-10 with a 3.48 ERA. He’s struck out 268 batters in 245.2 innings. He was 13-5 spanning Class A and Double-A in 2011. He was 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA, 112 Ks and 48 BB in 110 innings pitched this year in AAA. The strikeout numbers are there but much like with many other rookie pitchers walks could be a concern.
Now as for his fantasy value, in yearly leagues rookie pitchers are always a tough call. Usually I would recommend picking up highly-rated prospects in all leagues. Pitching prospects, especially in yearly leagues, do not always fit that pattern of recommendation much like with another highly touted prospect, Trevor Bauer, who struggled with his control when he was called up this year, which eventually led to his demotion. Walks could be an issue for Harvey. In yearly leagues, take a wait-and-see approach before you make the add. This is not to say he can’t help you the rest of the season but I recommend seeing how his first couple of starts go before pulling the trigger on the add. This could be risky, as another owner may grab him, but as we saw with Bauer earlier this year, let someone else roll the dice right now. If he has a solid start or two, you should add but until then hold tight in yearly leagues.
Now for Keeper/dynasty leagues. If needing pitching help add him now if available but bench him for a start or two. He is profiled to be a potential #2 or #3 pitcher and should stick in the Mets rotation long term. You will be better off adding him now and possibly having this pay off big when keepers come around. Rather than taking the wait and see approach, and hoping that he is still available after he emerges as a solid fantasy starting option. Expectations should be tempered for rookie pitchers but they can pay big dividends long term.
Will you be picking up Matt Harvey in your league or be using the wait and see approach? Let me know in the comments and as always follow me on twitter @FantasyzrTJ for all your fantasy baseball needs.