Baltimore Orioles Send Top Prospect Hunter Harvey to Double-A Bowie

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 23: Manager Buck Showalter
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 23: Manager Buck Showalter /

The Baltimore Orioles have optioned top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey to Double-A Bowie as the Orioles Opening Day roster becomes clearer.

The Baltimore Orioles elite pitching prospect Hunter Harvey has been optioned to Double-A Bowie a day after the Orioles acquired starting pitcher Alex Cobb.

Harvey was scheduled to start in the Orioles spring training matchup Wednesday night against American League East foe New York Yankees. Instead, the Orioles will send rotation hopeful Miguel Castro, per’s Brittany Ghiroli.

The No. 22 overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft impressed at camp after missing significant time due to right elbow strain which forced Harvey to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2016.

Harvey, 23, held his own at Orioles camp by producing a 3.86 ERA in three starts (seven innings) and seven strikeouts. To add more confidence that Harvey is prepared to join the Orioles sometime this season, his fastball topped out at 95 mph in the Orioles’ 2-1 win against the Rays on Feb. 27.

Despite coming into camp as a long shot to make the Orioles 25-man roster, Harvey exceeded expectations and proved he’s worthy of a call-up to the major leagues at any point in the 2018 season.

The right-handed pitcher is the Orioles No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline and outranks all pitching prospects in the organization. Right behind Harvey in the 2018 Prospect Watch rankings are the Orioles fifth and sixth-ranked prospects and a pair of lefty pitchers DL Hall and Tanner Scott.

Following the Cobb acquisition, the Orioles projected starting rotation consists of Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman. Fortunately, the Orioles schedule allows the team to begin the season with just four starting pitchers, per’s Roch Kubatko.

Next: A Deep Dive Into Orioles New Pitcher Alex Cobb

In addition to Harvey being optioned, the Orioles also announced Rule 5 draft pick Jose Mesa Jr. has been designated for assignment in order to pave way for Cobb on the Orioles 40-man roster.