The Arizona Diamondbacks saw how good Matt Harvey could be when they faced him Thursday night in his major league debut for the New York Mets. Harvey is a big guy, at 6-4, 225 pounds, and he throws hard. He was throwing his fastball around 97 mile per hour, a good slider and a good breaking ball. The consensus among Arizona hitter is that he had "great stuff." And had things gone a little bit differently a couple of years ago, he actually could be a member of the D-backs today.
In the 2010 MLB draft, the Diamondbacks took pitcher Barret Loux, whom they did not end up signing because of concerns about his shoulder. Who was picked at number seven? That would be Harvey.
Now, the resulting move of not signing Loux ended up with the D-backs drafting pitcher Archie Bradley in 2011, who is a very talented prospect. However, he is nowhere near ready to join the big leagues, as he is having control issues. Nick Piecoro tweeted that he is currently averaging 5.7 walks per nine innings.
That's not to say that Bradley won't be a fantastic pitcher in the big leagues at some point, but Arizona got nothing at the top of the 2010 draft. They viably could have had Harvey, who might or might not already be in the starting rotation. What is certain is that he has the talent to make it, as was evidenced by his start on Thursday in which he struck out 11 and allowed only three hits.
Every year teams pass on players that end up being very, very good. One of Piecoro's followers even raised the question about how Arizona passed on Mike Trout, who is arguably the best player in the entire game as a rookie for the Angels. But Arizona wasn't the only one to pass on him.
Harvey went one pick after the D-backs made theirs, and Arizona got nothing out of that year's draft in the first round.
It is fair to say that Arizona botched that one. They may recover, depending on how Bradley develops, but if Harvey does in fact become something special, this could truly be one of those "what could have been" scenarios.
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