UNC helped Harvey prepare for major league career
Posted June 25, 2012
Durham, N.C. — As a third round draft pick out of high school Matt Harvey could have more minor league experience under his belt, but he delayed a pro career and went to North Carolina. Harvey thinks the decision helped him on his quest for the big leagues.
"I did a lot, whether it was pitching in Omaha in front of 30,000 people or a weekend series against Clemson, you're in the spotlight," said Harvey.
At Carolina, Harvey in started College World Series games as both a freshman and sophomore.
As a junior in 2010, he was the Heels' ace. He was drafted seventh overall to the Mets.
Now with Triple-A Buffalo, Harvey is the organization's top pitching prospect, on the brink of a major league call up at age 23 in only his second season in the minors.
"For Matt, I think it's just about consistency. His stuff plays. All his pitches play," said Buffalo manager Wally Backman.
With a slow, deliberate delivery, Harvey's fastball is sneaky fast, hiding the ball well from hitters.
His main goal now is consistency and control.
"I didn't want to have as many walks as I had last year. Unfortunately, I'm creeping up to that number," said Harvey. "But as the season has gone along, I feel like I'm doing a better job of keeping my walk percentage down."
Because this year's Mets staff has exceeded expectations, the team is in no rush to call up Harvey. But it's only a matter of time before he becomes the sixth Tar Heel pitcher on a current major league roster.
"College was big and I'm almost there," said Harvey.
"He's moving in the right direction so he's not far off," Backman said.