Toronto Blue Jays 2018 Top Prospects: #20 Jon Harris

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 10: Luis Santos /

Jon Harris was taken by the Blue Jays in the first round of the 2015 draft, after having been selected by them back in 2012 as well. He’s moved up to #20 on our rankings, and spent the 2017 in AA with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Name: Jon Harris
Position: P      Age: 24
Height: 6’4    Weight: 175 lbs
Throws: Right            Bats: Right
Acquired: 1st round pick, 2015 draft

Jon Harris’ stock has steadily risen throughout his time in the Blue Jays system, but he finally hit a few road bumps with the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2017. After posting a 2.23 ERA with Lansing in Low A, and a 3.60 ERA with Dunedin in High A in 2016, Harris made the jump to the next level with mixed results.

He finished last season with a record of 7-11 with a 5.41 ERA in 26 starts and 143 innings pitched. The growth in his workload and innings total is encouraging to see, but his numbers rose in a few troubling areas. For example, his WHIP went from 1.149 across two Single A levels in 2016, and rose to 1.510 last season. Probably the most telling stat was the long ball, as Harris gave up 1.3 home runs per nine innings, compared to a 0.2 mark the year before, and hits went from 7.7 up to 10.6. Opponents hit .292 against him in 2017, compared to .229 the year before.

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The numbers wouldn’t have been so discouraging, except that Harris had really showed promise the year before. He was a midseason All-Star with the Lugnuts, and was also named as an organizational MiLB All-Star for the Blue Jays as well. The hope was that he would take a major stride forward and challenge for another promotion by now.

Instead, there’s a good chance that he’ll repeat at the AA level, as it would appear that may be best for him at this stage. At just 24 years old, he has time to develop as a starter, and he has the tools for the job. He throws a two-seam fastball, a slider, curveball, and a change-up, and according to an article from Sportsnet’s David Singh, Harris felt he had become too predictable last year, and was in the strike zone more than necessary.

"“It was a big learning curve. Guys are out there swinging the bat and you make mistakes and you get hurt. I found that out throughout the entire season.” – Jon Harris (Sportsnet, Jan 23, 2018)"

A learning curve that he seemed to turn the corner on in the second half last year. As noted in Singh’s article, after identifying a flaw in his delivery Harris managed a 4.66 ERA over his final 11 starts last year. Not great numbers, but certainly an improvement over what he’d been doing earlier in the year.

With a fresh start and plenty of lessons learned in 2018, Harris and the Blue Jays are looking forward to seeing what the right-hander can do to improve his stock, as he was rated among the top 10 prospects in the organization as recently as last year.

With a few adjustments and continued hard work, don’t be surprised if he starts to push for another promotion at some point in 2018, he’s got the talent to make it happen. He was also given an invite to spring training this year, so he’ll have additional opportunities to learn around some veterans, and impress some new faces in person.

Next: Ryan Goins signs MiLB deal with the Royals

Top-30 Blue Jays Prospect Rankings:
#30: OF Jonathan Davis    #29: OF Harold Ramirez  #28: OF Joshua Palacios 

#27:1B/OF Ryan Noda     #26: SS Kevin Smith        #25: OF Roemon Fields                

#24:P Angel Perdomo      #23: C Reese McGuire      #22: OF Dwight Smith Jr.

#21: Jordan Romano