Mets Take A Tar Heel

CHAPEL HILL, NC — Producing first round draft picks has become routine at the University of North Carolina in recent years, and this year was no exception. The New York Mets selected junior right-handed pitcher Matt Harvey with the seventh overall pick Monday night in the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Harvey becomes the 12th first round pick in North Carolina baseball history and the fifth in the last five years. “I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to start my professional career with a great organization,” Harvey said. “It has always been a dream of mine to be a top ten pick and I am ecstatic about the opportunity.” Harvey anchored the Tar Heels’ starting rotation in 2010 with an 8-3 record and a 3.09 ERA. He struck out 102 batters and walked 35 in 96 innings of work. He earned freshman All-America honors in 2008 as a part of the Tar Heels’ weekend rotation going 7-2 with a 2.79 ERA over 67 2/3 innings making three NCAA Tournament starts. He also earned a place on the 2008 All-ACC Tournament team after fanning 13 batters in eight shutout innings against Wake Forest. “From his freshman year until now, his development and improvement have been as good any player we have ever had here,” Head Coach Mike Fox said. “Matt has been a great player and person for our program. We all are very proud of him.” North Carolina has made a habit of producing power pitchers like Harvey who have made it to the next level. Daniel Bard (Boston Red Sox) and Andrew Miller (Florida Marlins) were both drafted in 2007 and Alex White (Cleveland Indians) was drafted in 2009. Harvey attributes his success and development into a first-round draft pick to the relationships he has built with his coaches at North Carolina. “Those guys have been with me through it all and have really helped me become the person and player I am today,” Harvey said. “I really appreciate all the hard work that the coaching staff puts in on the side in developing me as a player and person.” Harvey watched the draft with his teammates and coaches Monday night. The Mystic, CT native headed home Tuesday afternoon to celebrate with his family and friends.