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Harvey aiming for full season in 2018

Orioles prospect is looking to bounce back after injury-riddled year
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- Like any other prospect, Hunter Harvey's goal is to make it to the big leagues. But Harvey wants to make it to Baltimore this season.

"It's one of the top things on my list," Harvey, ranked as the Orioles' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, said last week at the club's FanFest. "The past three years rehabbing I've been working my butt off to get healthy and get the opportunity. I really want to get there."

BALTIMORE -- Like any other prospect, Hunter Harvey's goal is to make it to the big leagues. But Harvey wants to make it to Baltimore this season.

"It's one of the top things on my list," Harvey, ranked as the Orioles' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, said last week at the club's FanFest. "The past three years rehabbing I've been working my butt off to get healthy and get the opportunity. I really want to get there."

While Harvey -- the son of former All-Star closer Bryan Harvey -- appeared to be on the fast-track when he taken as the 22nd overall pick in 2013, injuries have stalled his progress. He was shut down early in '14 due to right elbow soreness and he missed the entire '15 season after fracturing his right shin on a comebacker during a Spring Training game and later experiencing more elbow soreness.

Harvey had sports hernia surgery in May 2016 and underwent Tommy John surgery in July. He returned to pitch eight games across three levels in '17 and is finally healthy, with the O's adding him to the 40-man roster last fall.

Which brings him to his main goal:

"[To] play a full season, be healthy. I haven't been able to do that yet," Harvey said. "I was close in '14, but at the end of the year, the injury bug started. The overall goal is to get to the big leagues, have success, but one of my main goals is to be healthy and pitch a full season no matter where it's at."

Make no mistake, a healthy Harvey could certainly help the Orioles as early as this season. Whether it's the bullpen or rotation (the O's currently have three open spots), it wouldn't be a surprise to see him at some point this year. 

"[He] has to show he's healthy and can contribute to the team," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Harvey at FanFest. "He's got great stuff, great pedigree and he's healthy. He's hungry, he wants to make a contribution to the team."

Harvey showed some encouraging signs last year. After making three starts in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and two for short-season Aberdeen, Harvey pitched to a 2.08 ERA in three starts for Class A Short-Season Delmarva. The 23-year-old allowed just two earned runs over 8 2/3 innings with three walks against 14 strikeouts, and he said he was very surprised with how good his stuff was.

"I wasn't expecting to have my command as good as I did, or any of my offspeed pitches," he said. "I didn't have very high expectations going into it and I kinda surprised myself a little bit."

Harvey wasn't sure what number the organization wants him to hit innings-wise. He's just glad he's back throwing.

"It's been a tough couple years," he said. "A lot of injury, a lot of pain, but to be able to throw and have it not hurt and have a normal offseason has been awesome."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Hunter Harvey