Orioles select Harvey and Hart
The Orioles shouldn’t have to worry about negotiations with first-round pick Hunter Harvey.
“I’ve never really been a big fan of college and school in general,” said Harvey, son of former Angels closer Bryan Harvey, shortly after being selected by Baltimore with the 22nd overall pick. “I wanted to get my pro career started and get to the big leagues.”
It’s a welcome sentiment for the Orioles, who have had their last three top picks in the First-Year Player Draft already reach the Major Leagues –including 2012’s first-rounder Kevin Gausman—and have placed an added emphasis on improving through the Draft.
“Harvey is a future frontline starter,” O’s scouting director Gary Rajsich said. “He is a tall, lean, projectable right-handed pitcher with a good fastball, good curveball, and a changeup. He throws strikes, competes, and comes from a baseball family.”
Harvey was the first of three Day 1 picks for the Orioles, who selected prep outfielder Josh Hart with the 37th overall pick in the compensation round. Hart, out of Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., is a centerfielder who helped lead Parkview to a fourth straight region championship and a berth in the Class AAAAAA state semifinals by hitting .449, with five home runs, 29 RBIs, 39 runs scored and 33 stolen bases this spring.
The 18-year-old Hart , who has committed to Georgia Tech, is a gap-to-gap hitter with average speed and listed at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds. An athletic high school talent, Hart and Harvey will give the Orioles a pair of promising prep prospects in a Minor League system that has graduated most of its top tier guys.
Harvey, drafted from Bandys High School in Hickory, N.C., is listed at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds and has a three-pitch mix that includes a fastball in the mid-90s. Harvey has much more than his impressive bloodline — brother Kris is currently in the Pirates’ system — going for him, turning heads at a pair of East Coast showcases in August in which he topped out at 97 mph.
As a senior, Hunter Harvey was 8-0 with 116 strikeouts and allowed just three earned runs. He gave up two extra-base hits over 54 2/3 innings and was named a starter for last year’s Under Armour All-America Game, played at Wrigley Field, in which he tossed three scoreless innings. In his junior season, Hunter Harvey went 7-0 with a 1.81 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 54 innings and has a changeup that’s typically a 10-15 mph differential from his heater, along with a curveball. He’s also working on adding a slider into the mix.
In nine seasons with the California Angels and Florida Marlins, Bryan Harvey recorded 177 saves — including a league-best 46 in 1991, when he was named the American League’s best reliever — and twice played in the All-Star Game (1991 and 1993).
Although the young Harvey never got to see him pitch, his father’s influence extends beyond pitching mechanics.
“He told me what he had to do to succeed — all the working out and all that,” Hunter Harvey said. “[But] he said one thing I had to get over was failure. The guys that can handle failure will be the ones who succeed. That’s definitely been the hardest part for me.”
“He’s taught me everything I need to know about the game and about being a man. Where I’m at today, I owe it all to him.”
Hunter Harvey is the Orioles’ second first-round high school pitcher in the past three years, joining 2011′s selection of right-hander Dylan Bundy.