3. Matt Harvey: Slider, Fastball
Maybe Harvey is being sold a little short here, but don’t let the No. 3 ranking fool you. He’s as good as the two guy’s preceding him on this list. If not, better.
Amid all the nonsense of the innings limit and pitch-cap, Harvey put together an impressive campaign that stretched to the World Series and ended in the most heartbreaking of ways (Sorry for the not-so-subtle reminder).
He ended last year’s regular season with a 2.71 ERA and 188 Ks. He ended the postseason in devastating fashion, but not without reiterating his commitment to becoming the best of pitcher in the game and the best teammate to his Mets peers.
Harvey has begun a refreshing change to a pitcher’s approach on the mound. Instead of starting out with gas to get batters on their toes, Harvey has begun to reverse the status quo, throwing his breaking-stuff earlier in the count.
By now, everyone know’s about the “Warthen Slider.” That is, the disgusting pitch that Dan Warthen teaches his pupils.
The one pitcher who has truly mastered this pitch is the Dark Knight of Manhattan.
In 2015, his first season post-TJ surgery, Harvey seemed to lose any semblance of the slider that once was.
Well, guess what? It’s back, baby.
Add in a fastball that averages 96.5 mph (capable of reaching 98-99) to the 92 mph slider, and you’re beginning to chef up a real buffet.