Miami Marlins: When will it be Monte Harrison’s turn?

Now that he will begin the 2020 season in the minors, when will Monte Harrison join the Miami Marlins parent club on a permanent basis?

The Miami Marlins may have sent Monte Harrison to Triple-A Wichita to start the 2020 MLB season, but that does not mean the front office won’t hesitate to bring the outfield prospect to the parent club if the moment arises. After a solid camp in Jupiter, Florida, and more promise shown at the plate, it’s almost assured the 24-year-old will roam the team’s outfield at some point this year.

“In 15 Grapefruit League appearances, he hit .364 (8-for-22), had an OPS of .981 and stole six bases,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com writes. He’s on track to be either the center or right fielder of the future for the Marlins, giving them a speed/power threat. He’s capable of leading off and stealing 30 bases, while also having 20-plus home run potential.”

That’s the kind of player the Marlins have lacked in their lineup in some years. The organization’s No. 9 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, has made progress each season he has been in the Marlins farm system, starting at Double-A Jacksonville and moving on to Triple-A New Orleans last year. But as he progressed, Harrison also learned to become a more complete player at the plate, cutting down on his strikeouts, making more contact, and continuing to grow defensively.

When Harrison was sent to Miami, as part of the deal that brought Christian Yelich to Milwaukee, he said he wanted to become a true five-tool player. Based on what the coaching staff saw in the small sample size this spring, he is well on his way to making that happen.

“I had some things on my mind that I wanted to accomplish, not even on the field,” Harrison said. “I’m not even talking about that. Just mentally, my work, the way I prepare myself for the game.”

It looked like Harrison might fulfill the dream of making the Opening Day roster before the baseball stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it did not happen. He and fellow prospect Nick Neidert, two of a few of the last remaining prospects in the team’s Major League camp, were jettisoned to the minors. Truthfully, the move may work out better for both players.

Neidert has a chance to crack the Miami Marlins starting rotation during the season as well. Harrison figures to be the first every-day prospect to be called up when the time comes.

“Harrison has big-time power potential, but he has also had high strikeout rates. Last year, he sacrificed some power to make more contact and became more of a threat on the basepaths,” Frisaro writes.

“His strikeout rate was 29.9 in 56 games at Triple-A New Orleans last year, with nine homers. In 2018 at Double-A Jacksonville, he hit 19 home runs and had a 36.9 strikeout percentage in 136 games.”

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