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Friday, June 24, 2011

Scouting Report Matt Harrison

The 25-year old lefty has an ideal pitcher's body (6'4" 225 pounds), but often confounded scouts why he wasn't more of a power pitcher/able to get more strikeouts. He was part of the bounty received in the Mark Tex rental from the Braves, and he was once considered the top lefty in the Braves system. He underwent surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in 2009, and it appears he's finally fully recovered, as his fastball velocity is the highest of his career this year.  Harrison is 21-16 for his career (45 starts, 31 relief appearances), with a 3.91 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He has never faced the Mets in his career.

Harrison is a 4-pitch pitcher, with his fastball averaging 93 mph (was 90-92 previous years), and that has been his best pitch this year. He has also started throwing his slider less, but throwing it harder (87 mph), increased his use of his curve (12%, 77 mph), and has a change-up (83 mph). His swing and miss % is below average at 6.8%, and his K/9 rate shows that, 5.6 this year (5 for his career). He walks too many hitters for someone who can't miss bats (3.86 BB/9). He's gotten lucky this year limiting HRs, but also benefiting from a high strand rate and an unsustainable BAPIP. His ERA is 3.16, but his FIP and xFIP are both 4.18. He's 5-6 in 13 starts this year, but he's only let up more than 3 earned runs twice this season, and currently has 7 straight starts with < 3 earned runs/

Harrison is an interesting pitcher who I wouldn't just write off just yet, especially with the increased velocity shown this year. Some scouts see his future in the bullpen, but I still see a chance he can be a middle of the rotation starter for years to come

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