Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Hunter Harvey wasn’t expected to be on the major league club so quickly, yet here in Baltimore he is.
BALTIMORE –The 23-year old right-handed pitcher had been scheduled to make his first start of the season with Double-A Bowie. Before Monday night’s 7-1 loss at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Orioles called up Harvey from the Bowie Baysox. The bullpen had been heavily taxed during the past few days and the club needed a right-handed long reliever on call.
“I was actually really surprised,” said Harvey of his call-up to Baltimore. “I was supposed to make my first start in Double-A today. So, to get that call from Brian Graham [Orioles Director of Player Development] was shocking.”
Harvey was selected as the 22nd pick of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft. As the son of former California Angels and Florida Marlins relief pitcher Bryan Harvey, the Orioles organization had high hopes for the youngster. He began his career with the Rookie League Gulf Coast Orioles, where he pitched to a 1.35 ERA in 13.1 innings, over the course of five games. Harvey would be promoted to the New York-Penn League Aberdeen IronBirds, where he pitched to a 2.25 ERA in 12.0 innings. Baseball Prospectus would rank Harvey as the 58th-best prospect in baseball leading up to the 2014 season.
In his first full season as a pro, Harvey pitched to a 7-5 record, with a 3.18 ERA in 17 starts (87.2 innings). Harvey didn’t make any appearances in 2015, being shut down with elbow tightness in his throwing arm. He began the 2016 season on the disabled list and would only pitch with the GCL Orioles and Aberdeen for a brief period of time that season. In 12.2 innings pitched, Harvey went 0-1, with a 2.13 ERA and was shut down, undergoing Tommy John surgery in July 2016.
After spending a year rehabbing from his injury, Harvey returned to pitch with the GCL club, Aberdeen and low-A Delmarva. During his 18.2 innings pitched in 2017, Harvey looked the part with a 0.96 ERA and 30 strikeouts.
“It’s a little different,” Harvey said of his preparation at the major league level, in comparison to making a start in Bowie. “I wouldn’t say I changed a whole lot though. It’s the same game, just a different level; better hitters, better competition, so same thing. Just get to park and get ready to go.”
Despite being called up the the majors, Harvey didn’t pitch during the game. However, that didn’t stop him from being any less excited or shocked about his call-up.
“No I wasn’t,” laughed Harvey, when talking about making it up to the majors this fast. “But it was a great feeling.”
In this year’s spring training, Harvey pitched 7.0 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits. He would walk four batters and strike out seven, with an ERA of 3.86.
“I felt good,” Harvey said of his spring training outings. “But I feel like I could’ve been a little bit better, but overall, I felt really good.”
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(Photo Credit: Patrick Cavey)