SARASOTA, Fla. -- It's been a long and bumpy road for Hunter Harvey. Beset by injuries, the Orioles' first-round pick in 2013 has appeared in just 30 Minor League games.
The right-hander, who underwent Tommy John surgery last July 26, missed the 2015 season after he suffered a broken leg on a comebacker in Spring Training. The year before, he battled elbow soreness.
With the recovery from Tommy John surgery typically 12-16 months, the Orioles were hopeful that Harvey -- Baltimore's No. 3 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com -- could pitch in the final weeks of this season in the Minor Leagues. But Wednesday morning, manager Buck Showalter expressed optimism that Harvey could return in midseason.
Harvey, the son of former major leaguer Bryan Harvey, is the most recent of the Orioles' top pitching prospects to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right-hander Dylan Bundy, who started Wednesday's game against the Red Sox, had the procedure in June 2013. Bundy resumed pitching 12 months later. Although Bundy, the O's first-round pick in '11, missed most of '15 with a shoulder injury, he went 10-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 36 games (14 starts) in 2016.
While Showalter acknowledges the similarities, he is also cautious in the comparisons.
"If [Harvey] follows suit, he's pitching in July in a competitive game somewhere," Showalter said. "He and Dylan got a lot of similarities in their background, even the age when they had it, the time frame, when the actual surgery took place.
"There's a lot of similarities, but you don't say, 'OK, they're exactly the same.' They're two different guys. Harvey's rehab is going real well over there. They had to really keep the reins on him."
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.