Meet a guy who is obviously playing his way to Triple-A and soon the majors: Brett Harris.
- Born: June 24, 1998
- B/T: Right/Right
- 6’1″, 208-lbs
- Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2021 MLB June Amateur Draft from Gonzaga University
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
After Harris was drafted in 2021, he spent a couple of games at the team’s complex level, and then played out the season at High-A. He immediately showed he would not strike out too much, and he takes walks.
To start 2022, he repeated High-A and he improved every measurement considerably. That great bat control was still there (only better), and the power showed up, and his OBP was terrific. No steals though.
Then he goes to Double-A and the OBP and power dip, the steals show up again, and his strikeout rate is steady as she goes.
To start 2023 he is repeating Double-A, and whaddya know, he is once again improving as he repeats a level. The OBP is at an all-time high, and basically the walks too, and the speed, and the power is better but about what we’d expect from a 24.6% hard hit rate.
The book on Harris is that he has no plus tools, but no weaknesses either. If anything about him is plus it is his eye and his quick hands that make easy contact. He simply has never struck out too much, and he always takes his walks, and he can hit double-digit home runs to keep the pitchers honest.
Let’s break out his 2022 by month. One thing pops out is that power can jump around. One month you have a wet noodle bat, and then the next month you are launching rockets to the moon. Then a wet noodle, rinse repeat. Hey, baseball is a game of streaks and trends, is it not?
Another thing that pops out: He simply does not strike out too much, and usually it’s in the teens. He also gets on base because of those walks and lack of strikeouts.
Handedness K% and BB%
So I took his 2022 (top) and his 2023 (bottom) to see how he did at the same Double-A level broken down by year:
2022 AA (vs RH): 16%K and 9%BB. (vs LH): 21%K and 8%BB.
2023 AA (vs RH): 14%K and 12%BB. (vs LH): 10%K and 17%BB.
Well, he improved in every respect from 2022 to 2023. And he does well against both types of pitchers. And he does a bit better against lefties, but just fine against righties. If he stole a few more bases, this would be an ideal leadoff hitter profile.
Because he has no loud tools, the scouts haven’t paid him a lot of attention. He won’t hit massive home runs, and he won’t steal 40 bases.
On the other hand, he is dominating Double-A, so he will be at Triple-A soon, and then perhaps the majors by September?
And with Oakland, the playing time will be there. In the long run, there’s no reason he cannot become Oakland’s 3B of the future. A high-OBP, modest power guy who plays the game right. Not bad.