On February 1st I wrote Avoid Matt Harvey in the Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide. “Do yourself a favor and just ignore Harvey. If he produces in 2017 that’s great news and I will reassess in 2018. For now, just not interested.”
People didn’t listen apparently as I continue to receive questions about him on daily basis.
People are starting to listen now.
Harvey doesn’t have his velocity. "You can't look past it," Harvey said. "It's going to be there or it's not, and I have to go out and pitch. I think after today, I feel really confident going into my next outing and moving forward.” For the third straight outing this spring, the former 97-98 mph heat was sitting at 91-93 mph. "Every year, you're not trying to compare yourself to something else or someone else, or even me in 2013," Harvey said. "It's my job to go out and stay focused on the task at hand."
Don’t know about you, but doesn’t that sound like a beaten man to you? Does to me.
As I warned in the Avoid Harvey piece noted above, the surgery he had has a very short track record of success in the big leagues. Those of you out there blindly drafting Harvey expect a nearly full rebound... I was never in that group. A check of the ADP shows that while most of you aren’t fully buying a rebound from Harvey, you are all very bullish.
NFBC: 145.3, 34th at starting pitcher
Mock Draft Army: 172.6, 64th at pitcher
Note that although he’s going 30 pitchers later in the MDA data, he’s only being taken 27 picks later in the draft as MDA folks are going bananas with the pitching selections.
Not convinced that you should be concerned? Some more data.
Eno Sarris wrote a fascinating article about Matt Harvey.
Sarris points out some rather startling facts if you’re expecting vintage Harvey this season.
Since 2015, when Harvey hits 98 mph on his fastball the swinging strike rate is 21.2 percent. When he is at 92 mph his swinging strike rate is 3.8 percent. In fact, any time that his fastball has been 96 or slower his swinging strike rate has been below nine percent, nowhere near the league average of 10.1 percent last season. Read that again. If Harvey’s fastball is 96 mph or slower he doesn’t generate a league average swinging strike rate.
Harvey’s changeup last season ranked 131st, below the league average.
Harvey’s slider last season was below average in drop.
Harvey’s curve last season had four inches less drop than average,
There’s no hope of a full rebound.
Unless the velocity comes back, the best you should be hoping for is a league average arm.
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I’m pretty bullish on Marcus Stroman. Here’s some audio talking about it.
Here’s some of the reasons why I’m in.
Stroman has smooth, repeatable mechanics.
He can throw four pitches for strikes.
I know he’s little at 5’9” and 185 lbs, and while that may be an issue at some point down the round, I’m not worried about it right now.
Coming back from knee surgery, he surprised and threw 204 innings last season. While the 4.37 ERA wasn’t anything to get excited about, there were still a ton of positives. On the year, he posted a 3.07 K/BB ratio, a solid mark. He also posted a 60.1 percent ground ball rate that led to a 2.95 GB/FB ratio. The ground ball rate led baseball. The GB/FB ratio led baseball. He was particularly sharp in the second half with some impressive numbers including an 8.49 K/9 rate, 2.15 BB/9 rate and he was nearly identical to his season long GB/FB rate with a mark of 2.91.
So much to like with the diminutive hurler...
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, 7 PM EDT, Wednesday 8 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 9 PM EDT PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work at Fantasy Alarm and on Twitter (@baseballguys).