Matt Harrison is going into his sixth year with the Texas Rangers in the approaching 2013 season. He is entering his age 27 season. Pretty young for a guy who has already been in the Rangers rotation for two full seasons.
Lets just look at the last two seasons while Harrison was in the rotation. Obviously his win total is a little skewed because he plays for a team that in those two seasons won a total of 189 games. But winning thirty two of those is pretty impressive.
The more impressive part of his stats is that Harrison has posted a 3.39 and 3.29 ERA respectively in 2011 and 2012 starting sixty two games and totaling three hundred ninety nine innings as the Rangers number four starter.
Harrison has had to sit behind C.J. Wilson and Derek Holland as the number three lefty in the rotation. Not to mention Colby Lewis and Yu Darvish. That’s how underrated Harrison is. With such good numbers posted in Texas, he is still the number four starter and he isn’t even considered the best lefty in the rotation.
Holland has been very good the last two seasons but in comparison to Harrison, Holland hasn’t really produced that much. Over the last two seasons Holland has 14 less wins, an era almost an entire point higher (3.39, 3.29 for Harrison and 3.95, 4.67 for Holland), starting only one less game but totaling just under 26 less innings.
I don’t like using strikeouts as a comparison just because some pitchers don’t base their game off of strikeouts but still have great success. Like Derek Lowe or Brandon Webb (when he was healthy). But just to throw an argument in for Holland I will. Harrison only struck out 259 guys over the last two years while Holland struck out 307. So if you are someone who solely wants strikeouts go for Holland.
Even with numbers that much better than Holland, Harrison is constantly looked over. Largely because he doesn’t strike out many hitters. Harrison is much better than people give him credit for.
I’m not trying to say that Harrison is better than Clayton Kershaw or C.C. Sabathia but he definitely deserves to be considered the best lefty in the Rangers rotation. And last year he definitely deserved at least a little piece of the Cy Young conversation.