Ht./Wt.: 6'3", 175 lbs.
DOB: 12/9/94 (18.49 on Draft Day)
The next time you travel to the Amateur Softball Association National Slow-Pitch Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, make sure to stop in front of the bust (or whatever they have) of David Stanley "Stan" Harvey. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996, the 6'5" first baseman from the vaunted Howard's Furniture-Western Steer team is considered one of the greatest left-handed power bats of all time. The Kris Bryant of his day, he was a nine-time All-American and one of the leaders on a team that won five national championships in the 70s and early 80s.
Stan's son, Bryan, played for one year at UNC Charlotte before leaving and going back home, where he worked and played softball. In a local legion game, the younger Harvey was volunteered to pitch, and when word got out about his performance, Angels scout Alex Cosmidis asked Bryan to throw for him. Three years later, Bryan Harvey was in the big leagues, where he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1988 (losing to current Rockies manager Walt Weiss). Harvey was a two-time All-Star with two top-ten Cy Young seasons to his credit as a closer for the Angels and, later, the Marlins.
Bryan's son, Kris, was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2005 draft by the Marlins out of Clemson University, and pitched in Double-A Altoona for the Pittsburgh Pirates as recently as last year.
Which brings us to Kris's younger brother, Hunter. Bryan Harvey made the choice to keep Hunter from playing on travel teams, instead playing on his local American Legion squad. Hunter also didn't attend many showcases, though there were a few. Word eventually got out about him, however, and more and more scouting directors and cross-checkers began to notice. During the National High School Invitational, many scouts made the drive to Bandys High School to watch Harvey pitch.
With a fastball that has life and sits in the mid-90s and has been clocked as high as 97, it's not hard to see why. He also boasts a plus curveball, in the mid-to-upper 70s, which has excellent spin and has the potential to become a plus-plus pitch. He has a changeup, but like many high schoolers, he hasn't used it very much during games (most high school hitters can't catch up to heat, so throwing a slower pitch is generally doing them a favor).
One of the problems with the way that Harvey has come up through the ranks, basically out of nowhere, is that he's had virtually no exposure to top-level hitting. Scouts haven't seen him against fellow draftees, so it's hard to say for sure that he'll see much success against them. Still, with a fastball that has late life and a curveball that projects to be plus/plus, he looks like he can be a successful reliever, at the very least.
If Harvey's changeup and curveball develop to where scouts think they may, he could end up as a #3 or even a #2 starter. He's much further along than his father was at his age, and his father turned out to be a dominant reliever. That's not out of the question for Hunter, either. He's already got more velocity than his father ever possessed.
Projected Draft Round
Harvey is going to go in the first round. Because of his lack of exposure to top-level hitting, it's unlikely that he's going to go in the top half of the round, but listen for his name as we reach the 20-35 picks. Maybe earlier, if someone is chasing a "sure sign."
Will He Sign?
In a word: Yes. Harvey hasn't committed to a college, and he's been remarkably candid about wanting to enter the draft and carry on the family profession, telling the Lake Norman News:
“I really just want to go straight to playing (professional) baseball and not have to play college ball,” Harvey said. “I just want to play baseball, and I feel lucky I’m ready.”