In 2013 with the 22 pick in the draft, the Orioles thought they found a gem when they drafted right-hander Hunter Harvey, a future frontline starter, who came from a pedigree of a family known for pitching.
The Orioles were rewarded by watching Hunter pitch to a 1.78 ERA across eight starts, reaching 25.1 innings right out of the gate. He struck out 33, while walking only six. Though elbow soreness shortened his season, the excitement was there, and he was rewarded come 2014.
The next stop for the young righty was Single-A Delmarva, where we could see more of what the big right-hander had to offer.
Though his record was 7-5 across 17 starts, he did punch out 106 batters across 87.1 innings, while allowing only five home runs and walking just 33 on the year.
Sadly, injuries began to pile up. In 2014, we saw the first of many that started a spiral, a flexor mass late in the year that interrupted his season.
Once recovered, the Orioles had invited Harvey to spring training in 2015, hoping to see him fighting for a roster spot. Unfortunately, his season never got started, as he fractured his leg when a line drive hit him, eventually ending his season and any hopes the Orioles had for him that year.
In 2016, things seemed to be starting out fine, but unfortunately for Harvey, his arm soreness returned. After just three games between short season Aberdeen and the Golf Coast Rookie League, the soreness would result to Tommy John Surgery. Harvey was once again done for the year, as the promise was beginning to waiver on the young prospect.
His return in late 2017 saw him pitch 18.2 innings across eight games, with three levels of minor league rehab completed with a 0.69 ERA; 2018 could be the year it all turns around.
However, Harvey’s luck didn’t change much in 2018. Though he managed to pitch in nine games, Harvey ended up hurting his shoulder, while avoiding a line drive while at Double-A Bowie. For Harvey, the Orioles needed to take a different direction if they were going to see their prospect succeed.
The Orioles moved Harvey to the bullpen, hoping to manage his injuries a little better, and at first, they seemed to reap the rewards of the move. The hard-throwing righty would make his major league debut and pitch in seven games, holding opponents to a .143 batting average and recording his first win and hold. Sadly enough, he was shut down again due to arm soreness, ending his 2019 season.
The next two seasons saw another shoulder soreness and then oblique injury for the young pitcher. Pitching 8.2 innings each season, Harvey just couldn’t stay healthy and ended 2021 on the 60-day injured list.
The Orioles tried to be sneaky and waive him, so they could return him to the minors before activating him. It almost worked, until the San Francisco Giants ended up nabbing him as the 28th team on the waiver list, ending Harvey’s tenure with Orioles.
Harvey would end up pitching 26 games across three seasons, with a 1-2 record and 3.42 ERA. Recording seven holds along the way, he would strike out 23 across 23.2 innings, allowing only nine earned runs.
While the promise is still there for the 26-year-old, it appears he will be trying to resurrect his career else where. We hope he brings it all together and wish him the best of luck. Another Oriole has flown from the nest, but we will always appreciate what he did for us while in Baltimore.
Hunter’s next chapter starts with the Giants, but we all will continue to watch and see him sore.
UPDATE: Catcher Nick Ciuffo and RHP Spenser Watkins have cleared outright waivers and have been assigned to Triple-A Norfolk. RHP Chris Ellis has cleared waivers and elected free agency. The 40-man roster currently has 27 players.
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