Failed top starting pitcher prospects who transition to the bullpen often make their mark as relief pitchers. Hunter Harvey seems primed to be the next experiment in this process. Many forget Mariano Rivera started his career trying to make the Yankees rotation, but settled in as a top reliever in the 1996 season setting up for John Wetteland with the rest being history. Making this sort of comparison proves unfair to Harvey, but it’s a lesson many use when targeting upside at the closer position. 

Harvey only logged seven major league appearances as a reliever last year working 6.1 innings but recorded 11 of his 18 outs via strikeout resulting in an eye popping 42.3 strikeout percentage. Of course, he also issued four walks en route to a 1.42 ERA, 3.69 FIP and 1.11 WHIP in these outings but the strikeout volume stands out. According to reports, Harvey’s fastball as a starting pitcher sat between 92-to-95 MPH reaching 97 at times. As a reliever, his fastball averaged 98.3...