Hunter Harvey is back with the Baltimore Orioles and will look to make his major league debut against the Boston Red Sox.
Is it finally happening?? For the second time since the Baltimore Orioles drafted pitching prospect Hunter Harvey with their first-round pick in the 2013 draft, the Orioles have added Harvey to the 25-man roster, but this time will likely be much different from his 2018 call-up.
Should Harvey take the mound this weekend against the Boston Red Sox, it will be the 24-year-old’s major league debut, a highly anticipated debut for the oft-injured prospect out of Catawba, North Carolina. The 6’3″ righty was called up last season, but did not see game action.
Harvey has pitched injury-free all season in 2019, beginning the year in Double-A with the Bowie Baysox as a starting pitcher. Since then, he has moved up to Triple-A and now finds himself firing his 95-96 mph fastball (touched 100 mph) out of the bullpen. Not surprisingly, MASN’s Roch Kubatko immediately reported after the announcement that if Harvey sees action, it will come out of the pen.
While in Bowie, Harvey made 14 appearances, 11 of them as a member of the starting rotation. Many of his early-season starts followed the same script, with Harvey dominating in the early innings, but struggling to command his secondaries, resulting in opponents sitting on his fastball and finding more and more success as each game went along. His move to the bullpen might just be what saves his career.
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Harvey’s final three appearances with Bowie were all in relief, working nine scoreless innings and allowing just two hits while striking out 11. His brief, yet dominant, stretch was enough to earn a call-up to Triple-A for the first time in his career.
Since joining the Norfolk Tides, Harvey has logged 16.2 innings across 12 games, posting a 4.32 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. The ERA is a bit skewed, thanks to one hiccup against the Durham Bulls. Harvey allowed five earned runs in 1.1 innings back on July 13th against Durham, but he’s been electric otherwise. In more than 12 innings of work since that day in Durham, Harvey has allowed just two earned runs on seven hits.
In all, the fireballer has 22 strikeouts and limited opponents to a .206 average in Triple-A and has been essentially perfect in August. In six innings of work, Harvey has allowed no runs on two hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts.
It’s always mind-blowing to see that Harvey has been in the organization for six years now and is still a young, intriguing prospect. Multiple surgeries, breaks, tears, and just about any other type of injury you can think of have plagued Harvey’s career, but he kept coming back.
The 2019 season hasn’t given Orioles fans much to cheer about, but watching Hunter Harvey make his major league debut will certainly be one of the top moments of the year.
Harvey is the 15th-ranked prospect in the Baltimore Orioles system, according to MLB Pipeline. With a mid/upper-90’s fastball and his break, breaking curveball, Harvey has real potential to be a valuable late-inning reliever for the Orioles.