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2014 MLB Draft (New York Yankees): Joe Harvey's loss to pros would be big loss for Pitt baseball

Photo used with permission of University of Pittsburgh athletics department - www.pittsburghpanthers.com

After a strong junior season, it was expected that Pitt's Joe Harvey would be selected in the MLB Draft. The pitcher was taken in the 19th round by the New York Yankees, and now the wait to see if he returns is officially underway.

Overall, Harvey had an outstanding season. He wasn't even a guaranteed pitcher in the Panthers' rotation at the beginning of the year, but by the end of it, was the team's most effective starter. He was only 2-2, but his 2.90 ERA was by far the best of the regular starters. His 56 strikeouts was also a team-high.

If Harvey leaves the team, it will be a tough loss for the Panthers.

The three-man rotation already will be without seniors Rhys Aldenhoven and Matt Wotherspoon. If Harvey leaves, head coach Joe Jordano will be starting from scratch in trying to piece together an entirely new starting staff. To make matters (potentially) worse, Pitt may also be losing Luke Curtis, who was drafted in the 18th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Curtis had a team-low 2.17 ERA in serving as a part-time starter for the Panthers.

One thing to watch as a factor could be the case of Matt Wotherspoon. After being taken in the 20th round last year, Wotherspoon struggled a little this season and fell to the 34th round in this year's draft. Harvey's stock could take a similar tumble with a bad year and you have to wonder if that will be in the back of his mind. I was also intrigued by Wotherspoon's recent comments about he and Harvey both playing for the Yankees as Wotherspoon was also selected by the team in the draft.

If Harvey goes, the baseball team will have no choice but to move on. The rotation will be in much better shape if he returns, though.

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