First-Round Pick Released

Harvey (left) with Steve Clevenger (STAFF/DAVIS)

The Cubs have released outfielder Ryan Harvey, the team's first-round, sixth overall pick from Dunedin (Fla.) High School in the 2003 draft. Harvey, 24, spent six seasons in the Cubs' farm system and batted .247 with 83 home runs and 321 RBI in 471 games.

A right-handed hitter, Harvey possessed some of the rawest power in the Cubs' system from the moment he signed with the club. But plate discipline was never his strong suit, and he struck out over 100 times in three of his last four seasons.

Harvey was also slowed by minor injuries, which particularly plagued him in 2007 when he played in just 59 games for Advanced Class-A Daytona. He was limited that season by hamstring problems and back spasms.

Harvey made it out of Class A ball only once, earning a cup of coffee at Class AA Tennessee early in 2008.

Blessed with one of the strongest arms in the Cubs' system, there had been talk in recent years that the Cubs might audition Harvey, who pitched in high school, on the mound. But the move never came to fruition and Harvey would bat only .224 in 95 games combined between Daytona and Tennessee a season ago.

Harvey is the latest in a plethora of top-round picks to be released by the Cubs in recent seasons.

A year ago, Chicago released first baseman Brian Dopirak (second round, 2002), and in 2007 the club parted ways with the not-so fab four of Bobby Brownlie, Chadd Blasko, Luke Hagerty and Matt Clanton – all pitchers drafted in the first-round of the 2002 draft.

Harvey signed for $2.4 million in 2003.

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