Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Is it time to consider Harrison a prospect?

Last year when the Pirates traded John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny to the Cubs it was generally assumed that the major return in the deal was Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio. The other player they received Josh Harrison was viewed as sort of a fringe prospect with little to no actual MLB upside.

Josh Harrison was taken out of Cincinnati (where he was Big East Co-Player of the Year) in the 6th Round of the 2008 MLB draft by the hated Cubs. He is a small guy, standing just 5'8" and weighing 175 lbs, according to Baseball Reference. He can play multiple infield ( 2B and 3B) and both corner outfield positions. Combined last season he played for three team at two levels (A and A+), putting up a pretty impressive line of .311/.350/.436 with 30 stolen bases but 11 CS. His power wasn't unbelievable, with only 6 homers, but he did hit 28 Doubles and 9 Triples.

He played well enough to make the Opening Day Roster of the AA Altoona Curve. It's said that the real test of a college bat begins at the AA level. Well if early results are any indication his bat will play just fine. After 11 games it could be argued that he is the best bat thus far, he leads the team in batting average at .350 (which is also good for 9th in the Eastern League), OBP at .409 (11th in the Eastern League), and hits with 14 ( 7th in the Eastern League). He still isn't a great baserunner it seems, having 2 CS to 0 SB, and he has yet to hit a homer, but he does have 3 Doubles and a Triple in his 46 PA, but he has shown much more patience at the plate. In his full season last year he walked just once ever 5.69 games, this year he has basically cut that in half thus far, walking once every 2.75 games.

His plate discipline will be the key to his future success. The average has always been around .300 (career .311), and he has good enough speed to hit lots of doubles. If he can continue to be a patient hitter he has the potential to be a major league player.

1 comment:

Nick Claghorn said...

Thanks for this. Had completely forgotten about Harrison. He's on my prospect radar now.