|Posted by Russell on June 29, 2014 at 9:55 PM|
Vanderbilt junior catcher Chris Harvey will sign a free agent deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. Harvey is a member of the 2014 National Championship team and went undrafted in early June.
Harvey played in 87 games during his time as a Commodore, hitting .253 with a .313 on baseball percentage and a .356 slugging percentage. Injuries and being stuck behind quality talent limited Harvey's college playing time and production. In 2012 and 2013 Harvey was stuck behind Spencer Navin, who was drafted by the Dodgers. 2014 appeared to be Harvey's shot at starting, but an injury derailed those hopes. Freshmen Jason Delay and Karl Ellison emerged and took hold of the catching duties. Nevertheless, Harvey got to play in the College World Series. As a DH, he singled in Vanderbilt's 9-8 win over Virginia on June 23rd.
This news isn't particulary surprising for multiple reasons. Due to the emergence of the two freshmen catchers, Harvey likely would have been looking at a backup role as a senior in 2015. Harvey was considered a prime candidate to transfer this summer. On top of that, Harvey was held in high regard by some MLB clubs. Had he played in more games, he would have likely been drafted in June. Harvey's size (6'5" and 225 lbs) and defensive skills make him an enticing prospect.
Harvey joins Pedro Alvarez as the only two former Dores in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Harvey will likely report to the Pirates Rookie League team, the Bristol Pirates.
Vanderbilt's Chris Harvey takes a big swing during the College World Series on June 23rd. Photo courtesy of Zimbio.com