Blue Jays 2015 first-rounder Jon Harris opens the 2016 season as one of the organization’s top pitching prospects.
Hon. Mentions Part 1 Hon. Mentions Part 2 #30: Freddy Rodriguez
#29: Evan Smith #28: Deiferson Barreto #27: Chad Girodo
#26: Roemon Fields #25: Rodrigo Orozco #24: Reggie Pruitt
#23: Joe Biagini #22: Carl Wise #21: Tom Robson
#20: Matt Dean #19: Andy Burns #18: Guadalupe Chavez #17: Ryan Borucki
#16: Jose Espada #15: Dan Jansen #14: Dwight Smith Jr. #13: D.J. Davis
#12: Mitch Nay #11: Angel Perdomo #10: Clinton Hollon #9: Max Pentecost
#8: Justin Maese
One of the most familiar names on the top prospects list may be Jon Harris. The Blue Jays first drafted Harris in 2012, in the 33rd round. But the Missouri native chose to attend Missouri State University instead and boosted his stock. Toronto drafted him again this past year, except this time 29th overall.
Fast forward to the Trading Deadline 2015. The Jays traded away the likes of Daniel Norris, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, Jairo Labourt, Matt Boyd and Jesus Tinoco. That leaves Harris as one of the top pitching prospects left in the system.
Name: Jon Harris
Position: SP Age: 22
Height: 6’4” Weight: 175 lbs.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: 2015 Draft, 1st round (29)
Think Stephen Strasburg, except 55 pounds lighter. Tall-and-lanky doesn’t usually befit MLB pitchers very well. Harris would be well-served to pack on more strength, which will likely increase his velocity as well. His fastball already consistently hits 92-94 mph (according to MLB scouting report), but that could get even better if he builds strength.
Here’s what else the MLB report had to say on his other pitches:
"“His heater features run and sink, and he uses his height to deliver it on a downhill plane. All three of Harris’ others pitches grades as plus at times. His breaking balls have power and depth, and he has improved and learned to trust his changeup. He also has bettered his control and command, though they’ll require additional refinement.”"
Because he was only drafted this year, Harris has just one professional season under his belt. Just 12 games with the Vancouver Canadians. And the numbers weren’t pretty (0-5, 6.75 ERA). But one positive is Harris’s K/9 IP: 8.0. If he keeps that up, it could be one of his best assets.
But 2016 will be his first full season, so expect better results. Harris will probably begin the season in Dunedin or Lansing, but don’t be surprised if he moves through the ranks quickly.
Yes, Harris is a promising prospect. But it’s only the beginning of his professional career and he has a lot of work ahead if him the next few seasons if he is going to maximize his potential.