When I look at the Cubs prospects, I see a lot of hope for the future but no matter how much the scouts say and how many rankings you see you can never be sure how a prospect will pan out. One of the Cubs prospects that has been consistently listed in the top 10 lists is Ryan Harvey. When you look at his stats, his obvious power, and his name, you wonder how he might compare to Ryan Howard, the superstar for the Philadelphia Phillies. When you look at the Minor League stats of both players, you don’t see a lot that makes you think Ryan Harvey will be anything like Ryan Howard.
You can see that they both have power and strikeout a lot. Ryan Harvey has fewer games in the minors but you can see some similarities but when you look at totals, Harvey doesn’t measure up to Howard. Does this mean that Ryan Harvey won’t be a star in the big leagues? It doesn’t mean much of anything at this point because as you can see from the stats for Ryan Harvey, he is still only 22 years old. He has a lot of time yet to work on his game and to hone the skills he will need to succeed at the Major League level.
Ryan Harvey isn’t one of the best prospects we have in our Minor League system but I always like the guys that have the power. Cubs’ fans always loved Sammy Sosa because he had the ability to turn a game around with one swing of the bat. Ryan Harvey is the best power-hitting prospect I see in our system but he is one or two years away from showing us what he might be able to do so for now we can only hope he is close to a Ryan Howard.
If you look again at the same stats I showed you above but focus on a different area you see some hope for the future. The totals don’t compare well but if you look at a common season when they were the same age it does show that Ryan Harvey isn’t far off where Ryan Howard was at that age. Granted, Harvey had more seasons in the minors at that time but he also started younger. Look at the season when both were 22 that are highlighted below. The stats for that year show similar power numbers and the ability to drive in runs. It also shows how both do a lot of whiffing.
Where Howard excels is in his batting average and on-base percentage. Scouting reports for Harvey say that he has holes in his swing and his batting average shows that. If he can work on those weaknesses, he could see Wrigley Field as early as 2009. If he continues to improve, he might be in the future plans of the Cubs but if he continues to struggle, he could be included in a trade that brings a top star to the Cubs instead. No matter what happens, chances are that he will help improve the Cubs.
For more of Thomas’ views on the Cubs, visit www.cubsfanhell.com