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Harrison looking to regain momentum in AFL

October 16, 2018

After a breakout campaign in last year's Arizona Fall League, Monte Harrison is back in the desert for a second tour.Harrison established himself as a must-watch prospect in last year's Fall League as he flashed a tantalizing blend of five-tool potential and production en route to a .987 OPS with

After a breakout campaign in last year's Arizona Fall League, Monte Harrison is back in the desert for a second tour.
Harrison established himself as a must-watch prospect in last year's Fall League as he flashed a tantalizing blend of five-tool potential and production en route to a .987 OPS with five home runs and five steals in just 13 games.
Arizona Fall League overviews for all 30 teams
But after an offseason trade from the Brewers to the Marlins, followed by a challenging full season in Double-A, the Marlins' top prospect is hoping to regain some momentum in this year's Fall League.
"With a new organization you come out and try to impress, but I put a little too much pressure on myself," said Harrison, who posted 19 home runs and 28 stolen bases during the regular season, but also slashed just .240/.316/.399 in 136 games with Double-A Jacksonville.
Harrison's struggles were tied to his inability to make consistent contact, especially early in the season. Overall, the 23-year-old outfielder struck out in 36.9 percent (215 times) of his 583 plate appearances with the Jumbo Shrimp.
"The way I was striking out was what made me mad," admitted Harrison.
"I was swinging at a lot of balls out of the zone and my chase rate was really high," he continued, "so I went to our guys and said that during the second half I want to make a difference."
Sure enough, Harrison reduced his first-half strikeout rate of 38.5 percent to 35.3 during the second half -- a small but nonetheless significant improvement for the former 2014 second-rounder.
"This game is all about adjustments, and I definitely made some adjustments," he said. "I figured out what [the pitchers] were doing to me at the upper levels, and I definitely got more comfortable with my body and my swing."
Now suiting up for the Salt River Rafters for a second straight year Harrison is working hard to build upon the second-half progress he made in the Southern League.
"In every way of the game I try to be as dominant as possible," he said, "but this game is not easy. I figured that out and I'm going to have to put a lot of work into it.
"It's a process. You have a lot of people say trust the process, but at the same time you really know what that means. There's going to be adversity ... but there's always little things you can learn every single day."
Marlins hitters in the Fall League
Bryson Brigman, SS/2B -- The 2016 third-round pick and current Marlins No. 26 prospect hit .327/.361/.407 in 29 games between Class A Advanced Jupiter and Jacksonville after joining the organization in the July 31 trade that sent Cameron Maybin to Seattle. Altogether, the 23-year-old middle infielder slashed .310/.370/.395 in 124 games on the season.
Brian Miller, OF -- The Marlins' No. 11 prospect hit .295/.338/.355 with 40 stolen bases in his first full season, spending the second half in Double-A. Though he offers little in the way of power, Miller has the requisite tools in a high-contact left-handed bat, strong approach and plus speed needed to become a top-of-the-order hitter at the highest level.

"The biggest advice I've ever been given, either from coaches or scouts or coordinators, is to know yourself as a player, so that's what I'm trying to do. I know my game is as a leadoff hitter, a guy who can play all three outfield spots and make a difference with his legs, so that's the role I've got to embrace if I want to help the Marlins win a championship," said Miller.
Marlins pitchers in the Fall League
Tommy Eveld, RHP -- Acquired from Arizona for Brad Zeigler at this year's Trade Deadline, Eveld, 24, played football for three years at South Florida before making his college baseball debut as a redshirt sophomore in 2015. He reached Double-A for the first time this year as part of a breakout campaign in which he recorded 16 saves while pitching to a 1.07 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings (45 games). A 6-foot-5 righty, Eveld operates at 92-95 mph with a plus slider and above-average control.
Kyle Keller, RHP -- After back-to-back seasons at Class A Greensboro, the 25-year-old right-hander pitched at three levels including Triple-A in 2018. In 44 appearances, Keller logged nine saves and compiled a 3.08 ERA, .195 BAA and 78-to-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 52 2/3 innings.
Chad Smith, RHP -- The 6-foot-4, 200-pound righty saved 12 games for Jupiter during the regular season while tossing 35 1/3 innings over 30 appearances. He struck out 11.5 batters-per-nine and held hitters to a .200 clip on the year, though his 5.6 BB/9 left much to be desired.
Jordan Yamamoto, RHP -- Acquired along with Harrison in the Christian Yelich deal, the Marlins' No. 16 prospect reached Double-A late in the season and fired six hitless frames with nine strikeouts in his final regular-season start. Overall, Yamamoto was 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in 13 starts across three levels. In 68 2/3 innings, he posted 85 strikeouts against 14 walks while holding hitters to a .177 average and two home runs.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.