The Miami Marlins have high hopes for their top minor league prospect, Monte Harrison. The outfielder played at Double-A Jacksonville last season.
Monte Harrison is waiting his turn. As the Miami Marlins top minor league prospect plays in the Arizona Fall League, the biggest question facing the outfielder is where will he play next season. Has he done enough at the Double-A level with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp to warrant a move to New Orleans and the organization’s Triple-A affiliate next spring?
The 23-year-old has the makings of a five-tool player. But his power game isn’t the only thing the front office is looking at in determining where he will wind up in February. Harrison, who was part of the deal that sent Christian Yelich to Milwaukee in the offseason, struck out 215 times this past season.
That might be a concern moving forward. Still, there is no doubt he is a star of the future for the Marlins. He belted 19 home runs and drive in 48 runs this season, but remains a work in progress.
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"“The concern is his high strikeout rate, as he fanned 215 times with the Jumbo Shrimp,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “How quickly he reaches the big leagues will depend largely on his ability to make more contact, because when he does, he has the chance to be extremely impactful.”"
There are other facts to consider as well. The Marlins have many young outfield prospects they have added to their Major League roster over the second half of the 2018 season. They also brought up a handful of players to add to the 40-man roster on Sept. 1. Depending on what he does in Arizona and how he gets acclimated to Spring Training will determine how the organization proceeds with him.
The hope is also playing in Arizona will help him learn to handle upper-level pitching.
"“According to the Marlins’ advanced data, 20 percent of the balls Harrison put in play had an exit velocity of more than 105 mph. That was the seventh-highest of more than 400 hitters at Double-A. Keep in mind, the 2018 season was a transitional one for Harrison,” Frisaro added."
Harrison underwent somewhat of a transformation last February at the Marlins Spring Training complex. He learned to rework his swing. It caused him to struggle a bit out of the gate. With a full season to adjust, the high rate of strikeouts could be a thing of the past for him.
That would help the Marlins decide where he should start the season in 2019 on his way to the Major League roster.