The best thing for an MLB hopeful draft prospect is the week before the draft you are listed as the top player on the list of players whose stock is rising by Baseball-America. While the major league front offices don’t rely on external scouting reports, with their scouting department, it does not hurt to get his name out there more. So, who is this player whose stock is rising? His name is Jon Harris, a right-handed pitcher out of Missouri State University.
Who is Jon Harris?
Many of the top pitching prospects have gotten hurt this spring or were ineffective this season. Harris has pitched his game, as he has been able to move up the draft boards. Harris is a six-foot-four pitcher, who has pitched at Missouri State for three years now. He was drafted out of high school, but the Toronto Blue Jays drafted him in the 33rd round, so he elected to stay in school instead of signing. In the past three years, he has added strength to his body. He also uses his height to create more downhill movement in his pitches.
MLB Pipeline has Harris ranked as the 10th best prospect. However, some mock drafts have him going as high as third. It’s hard to predict who will take which player because teams have certain players they are looking for.
What pitches does Harris offer?
Harris’ inconsistent pitch is his fastball, in terms of hitting the strike zone. Harris’s fastball was given a 50/55 present/future rating by Fangraphs. Early in games, his speed on his fastball can be between 90-94, but he settles into 90-92 as the game goes on. The thing that sets him apart is his ability to sink the ball to create a different angle for the hitter.
If you remember a pitcher named Roy Oswalt, you might like Jon Harris. While Harris does not throw the breaking ball as slow as Oswalt, his curveball speed registers between 75-79. According to Fangraphs, his curveball has a 45/50 present/future rating. Unlike Oswalt again, Harris does not have a great feel for Uncle Charlie, and tips off the hitters with a later release. Should he be able to hide it a little better, it should throw hitters off a little.
His best breaking ball was the slider, with a more reliable break than the curveball. The speed of his slider is between 81-84. One of his most consistent pitches is his changeup, which he throws with the same motion as if throwing a fastball.
This season, Jon Harris has pitched in 14 games this season for the Bears, with an 8-1 record. His ERA this season is very Dallas Keuchel like at 1.85 while striking out 113 batters in 97.1 innings.
Will the Astros draft Harris?
At the beginning of the season, I would have said that the Astros take a pitcher and then a hitter. As the season progressed, and the mock drafts came out, more and more people have guessed they will take two hitters. This draft has a surplus of talented shortstops, which is what I think the Astros use the second overall pick for. The fifth overall pick is harder to predict, I just hope they take the best player available. Could they draft Harris? They could, but no one knows but Luhnow.
Keep up with the rest of the series below.
Astros Draft Prospect: Daz Cameron
Astros Draft Prospect: Alex Bregman
Astros Draft Prospect: Carson Fulmer
CTH Mock Draft (First Five Picks)
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