Harvey Epitomizes Mets' Taste In College Arms
NEW YORK—As the pitch count rose on April 23, Mets scout Marlin McPhail
got a little nervous.
On the mound was Matt Harvey
, the 21-year-old righthander for North Carolina. And six weeks before the Mets would make him the No. 7 overall pick, McPhail was watching and worrying as the pitch count hit 157.
"You tend to get a little nervous, quite frankly," McPhail said. "I don't know what other word to use. For anybody who likes a kid, you get nervous when things like that happen."
McPhail wasn't nervous enough to turn away from pushing the Mets on the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Harvey And why not? Since his final pitch that day clocked in at 96 mph and completed a 15-strikeout performance.
It was a notable effort, showing his grit and determination—as well as his skills.
"It was a period in our season where we needed some big wins," Harvey said. "Playing on the road at Clemson is a very tough thing. Being the Friday night starter, I was doing everything I can to give the team the best chance to win. My whole body felt good. All that credit goes to the coaching staff, the behind-the-scenes people at North Carolina. I couldn't do that without them."
Harvey was the highest-ranked high school righthander when the Angels made him a third-round pick in 2007. But he opted for North Carolina, where he overcame sophomore struggles to raise his stock for the 2010 draft.
Harvey just completed his junior season as the Tar Heels were eliminated in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. The righthander was 8-3, 3.09 in 14 games this season. In 96 innings, he allowed 80 hits and boasted a 102-to-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Harvey held opponents to a .224 average.
"What we have here is a power arm," scouting director Rudy Terrasas
said. "He's a guy who has four pitches: a fastball anywhere from 91 to 98, a slider anywhere from 85 to 83, a curveball 81 to 79, and a changeup 83 to 81.
"He uses all his pitches. As far as comparing him to someone in the big leagues, perhaps he's someone kind of in the mold of Mike Pelfrey
, big durable type with a good arm."
The Mets still have to sign Harvey, who is represented by Scott Boras Corp. In the recent past, the Mets have struggled to see eye-to-eye with the agent over his clients Carlos Beltran
and Oliver Perez
• The Mets called up Jesus Feliciano
, a 31-year-old outfielder, from Triple-A Buffalo after he had a pair of five-hit games that pushed his average .385.