Does Matt Harvey really compare to anyone?

With the way Matt Harvey is pitching to begin his career he is drawing comparisons to some of the greatest right-handed starting pitchers of all-time.

“Harvey is a modern day Roger Clemens,” said MLB analyst Mitch Williams on the MLB Network.

Sports Illustrated compared Harvey to a young Dwight Gooden and White Sox manager Robin Ventura compared him to Justin Verlander.

Fox Sports Brian Anderson believes Harvey’s best comparison is Mets great Tom Seaver.

But who is the young fire-baller best compared to this early in his career?

Let’s take a look at the numbers to see if we can find a comparison.

The numbers below are for each player’s first 20 starts.

Matt Harvey – 8W, 5L, 2.30ERA, 0CG, 0SHO, 129.1IP, 83H, 34R, 33ER, 9HR, 43BB, 144SO.

Roger Clemens – 9W, 4L, 4.32ERA, 5CG, 1SHO, 133.1IP, 146H, 67R, 64ER, 13HR, 29BB, 126SO.

Dwight Gooden – 9W, 6L, 2.80ERA, 2CG, 1SHO, 133IP, 101H, 49R, 43ER, 4HR, 57BB, 162SO.

Justin Verlander – 11W, 6L, 3.55ERA, 1CG, 1SHO, 114IP, 109H, 47R, 45ER, 12HR, 46BB, 82SO.

Tom Seaver – 10W, 6L, 2.92ERA, 11CG, 0SHO, 148IP, 135H, 53R, 48ER, 14HR, 40BB, 98SO.

You can see why Harvey has been compared to these greats. His stats are similar or even better then most of the pitchers he’s being compared to.

His numbers better each of the other four pitchers in ERA, hits allowed, runs allowed and earned runs allowed.

His strike out total is second only to Gooden and his walks are lower then everyone but Clemens, while he sits tied with Seaver.

His win total isn’t as high as his comparables, but it’s not far behind and when you consider that Harvey has not played on a winning team early in his career, that number could potentially be higher.

You must also consider that this era of hitter packs more punch then the hitters Clemens, Gooden and Seaver faced on the mound and considering this fact, Harvey has done an outstanding job limiting the amount of home runs and hits he has allowed.

To say that Harvey’s impressive start to his career is comparable to these great pitchers from the past and present is fair, but a more honest opinion would have to be that Harvey is setting himself apart by continuing to dominate hitters.

If he continues to chew up his competition and we’re not witnessing some kind of fluke, Harvey may eventually separate himself from being compared to others and become the pitcher future stars are compared to.

Only time will tell; but based on his current performance this is definitely a scenario that can happen, one that Mets fans would love to be a part of.

6 comments for “Does Matt Harvey really compare to anyone?

  1. NormE
    May 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    On a team with a paucity of talent it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and compare Harvey to just about every successful hard-throwing righthander of the past and present. What else is there to be positive about?

    Let’s just enjoy Matt Harvey for being Matt Harvey and watch and hope that he continues to grow and do well.

  2. Name
    May 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Since B-R doesn’t have similarity scores up for Harvey yet, my pick would probably be Kerry Wood as the best comparison statistics wise.
    11-5,, 128.2 IP, 86 H, 43ER 8 HR, 71BB, 179 SO.

    Another phenom.
    8-3, 111 IP, 84 H, 29 ER, 5 HR, 24 BB, 135 SO
    That’s Stephen Strasburg

  3. steevy
    May 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    No way Harvey is a fluke but pitchers are always vulnerable to injury.

  4. May 25, 2013 at 12:44 am

    Seaver did not play om a winning ball club either in his rookie year. I would not make the comparison with Clemsns early in his carrer since his career took off after… well we all know. Wins are going to be hard to quantify since thew current Met bull pen will blow so many games that Harvey will leave with the team leading.

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