2013 Fantasy Baseball: Don’t Sleep on Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey - New York Mets

Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets don’t boast a large amount of relevant fantasy baseball players, but they do have a particularly interesting young pitcher in Matt Harvey.

Harvey, a tall right-hander, made his debut last July and finished out the season strong for the Mets while helping some fantasy teams in a late-season push. In 10 starts, the 24-year-old won only three games but had an impressive 10.62 K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) ratio with a 2.73 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He showed great strikeout ability in his quick ascension through the minor leagues, and he was able to translate that to the majors.

Harvey did have a little bit of luck. He had 81.3 percent of runners left on base while hitters had a low .262 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) against him. You could say that some of his success was from hitters’ unfamiliarity with the rookie. What’s encouraging, however, is the high strikeout rate and solid K/BB ratio. His 2.69 K/BB rate would have landed him in the top 20 in the majors if he had enough innings to qualify.

Hitters had a lot of trouble making contact on his pitches as he managed an incredible swinging-strike percentage of 12. To put that in perspective, Justin Verlander had an 11.7 swinging-strike percentage last season. He has a fastball that touches the mid-to-high 90s consistently and a tight slider that can hit 90 MPH as well. As long as he keeps his velocity up and can continue to control that slider, there’s no reason to believe he won’t become the Mets’ ace this season.

He is worth around $10 in auction leagues and is likely worth a pick near the 10th round in standard leagues. There’s always the risk that hitters catch on a bit, and he isn’t going to rack up a ton of wins on the Mets, but he absolutely has the stuff to be a dominant strikeout pitcher in 2013 and for years to come.

Rich Arleo is a fantasy sports expert with Rant Sports. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and ‘Like’ him on Facebook.


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