Just had a chance to talk briefly on the phone with Hunter Harvey, the Orioles top pick in the 2013 draft (22nd overall). He’s a 6-foot-3, 175 pounder out of Bandys High School in Catawba, North Carolina. He has a low 90s fastball that can scoot up to 97.
His dad, Bryan Harvey, spent nine seasons in the big leagues. He was a two-time all star closer for the California Angels and Florida Marlins, leading the majors in games finished and saves in 1991 and finishing fifth in American League Cy Young voting that year.
Hunter's brother, Kris, was a second-round pick out of Clemson by the Florida Marlins in 2005. He’s out of baseball right now and is preparing for shoulder surgery and a comeback.
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Here’s some quotes from Hunter Harvey:
What are your emotions like right now?
“Pretty pumped up. I’m really excited.”
Is it true you didn’t talk to the Orioles today before the selection?
“I think there were like 15 seconds left (in the Orioles pick) and I just got off the phone with my agent. And he said ... Baltimore was interested. ‘So you may go to Baltimore. So be ready.’ He wasn’t really sure; he didn’t know that’s where I was going to go. And they ended up calling my name. It was crazy.”
What do you know about the Orioles?
“I know most, if not all of their teams are really close. So my family and all my friends can come and watch me a lot more than if I was over on the West Coast. So I am excited to be an Oriole. It’s a little different in my family. Everybody’s been a Marlin. I’m the only one that hasn’t been a Marlin.”
Has your father taught you his devastating split-fingered fastball yet?
“He ain’t teaching me that one yet. He’s gonna have me stay away from that. I doubt I will learn that one.”
How influential has your father been to you and your career?
“Everything I’ve ever done with baseball, everything I’ve been able to learn pretty much has been with him. And my mom has helped out a lot, but baseball with him, he’s just the best. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
You are strictly a starter, correct? You didn’t lose a game in your last two years of high school?
“I hadn’t lost in two years, that’s pretty good. My dad was a closer and my brother was a starter in high school and he ended up as a bullpen guy. So hopefully I’ll be the first one to make it to the big leagues as a starter. That’d be nice. Something new.”
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
“Hopefully in the next couple years I’ll be in the big leagues in Baltimore. Playing with the Orioles and playing for a World Series. That’s what I’m looking for myself and I’m just going to work hard and bust my tail and hopefully be in the big leagues here, soon. Wanna be like ol’ Gausman.”
Does that give you some hope, that the organization quickly moved Bundy and Gausman to the majors?
“Just seeing that can happen really makes you want to work harder and get better every day. Even if it does take another year or two (longer) to get there, the goal is to get there and once that happens it is just going to be the best thing ever, really.”
Why didn’t you commit to a college?
“I’ve never been a really big school guy. Everything I’ve ever wanted to do is I’ve always wanted to play pro ball Me and my dad were talking, if I don’t get drafted where I wanted I’m sure I won’t have a problem finding a (Division 3) or Junior College that will take me. But we didn’t want to tell scouts and a school somewhere that we were committing. We didn’t want to play any games with them. We just told them we are not going to commit. If we commit, it was going to be after the draft. After they offer me something I didn’t want.”
What’s your thought on the projected slot money ($1,948 million) and whether you may sign soon?
“I hope so. The slot seems pretty good, but I’m just ready to go and start playing. This has been probably the longest day of my life and finally hearing my name has made it complete.”
What was your reaction when you heard your name?
“We’ve got about 100 people at my house and we all went nuts. Me and my dad were going crazy. Just really excited to finally hear my name called.”
Any last thoughts about this day?
“I’m just glad to be an Oriole.”