Hunter Harvey has been dominant in his brief professional career. He has been virtually unhittable at every level he pitched at: the GCL Orioles, Aberdeen, and now Delmarva. Because of his overwhelming success, many O’s fans are calling for another promotion to Frederick, and I’ve even heard some fans calling for a promotion to AA Bowie. While Harvey may be able to succeed at either of those levels, there are a few reasons why he will remain in Delmarva for a little while longer.
Harvey still needs to work on his control. While he has been overpowering in most of his starts, he still struggles with command at times. Harvey has been inconsistent. There have been several games where has has not walked anyone, but others where he has walked four in just two innings. While this is not a major concern, as it can be corrected, the Orioles want Harvey to work on this with the Shorebirds before he moves up the ladder. It is easier to correct minor issues like this at lower levels.
Harvey is also still developing a third pitch. His fastball is dominant. Minor league hitters have struggled to catch up with it, and he can spot it extremely well. Harvey’s curveball is also solid. He has mixed it in and made hitters look foolish at times. Harvey is still developing his changeup, which is the main reason why he is still in Delmarva. Harvey has worked with it, but it is still not where he wants it to be. A good changeup is crucial for a starting pitcher as he climbs the minor league ladder. If Harvey can perfect his changeup, he will have the ability to really get hitters off balance.
In the end, O’s fans have to remember that Hunter Harvey is still a teenager. He will not be in the majors before September of 2015. There is no reason to rush him up when he still needs work at lower levels.
Your ace is coming Birdland. You just have to wait a few years.