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Marlins giving Harrison space to develop

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

JUPITER, Fla. -- Spring Training days start early for Monte Harrison. The Marlins' No. 2 prospect likes to be at the park about 90 minutes before the first team meeting, and he routinely is in the cages around 7:15 a.m. ET.

"I don't like being rushed," Harrison said.

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JUPITER, Fla. -- Spring Training days start early for Monte Harrison. The Marlins' No. 2 prospect likes to be at the park about 90 minutes before the first team meeting, and he routinely is in the cages around 7:15 a.m. ET.

"I don't like being rushed," Harrison said.

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Harrison, Brinson lose it over epic dunk

The Marlins also have no intention of speeding up the development of the 22-year-old Harrison, who is ranked 71st by MLB Pipeline on the Top 100 prospects list.

Harrison, still a work in progress, is one of the core building blocks of the Marlins' future. As an internal non-roster invitee, he is still getting acclimated to the organization.

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"The more reps, and as he catches on, he has a chance to be dynamic," manager Don Mattingly said. "The ball jumps off his bat. He's been a physical kid. He's got speed. He's one of those guys. He can run, throw, [has] power. I think there's a chance he should hit, from the standpoint of making more contact than he has in the past."

In a small Spring Training sample size, the Marlins are seeing glimpses of what Harrison can be. In his first 15 at-bats, he has two doubles, but three hits total, batting .133 with seven strikeouts.

The Marlins are looking at the bigger picture more than at short-term spring results. Harrison is working daily on the mechanics of his swing and approach.

Video: MIA@NYM: Harrison plates Anderson with a double

A physical presence, Harrison is listed at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. He was a three-sport standout at Lee's Summit West High School in Missouri, turning down a chance to play wide receiver at the University of Nebraska, opting for baseball.

"I've seen guys like that who don't look like baseball players," Mattingly said. "They don't have a feel for the swing, and the swing doesn't look rhythmic. He's different. He's got rhythm in his swing. His timing is pretty good.

"I think we've got to get him more reps, to the point where he really has control of his swing, and then builds an approach, and builds what he wants to do [in the Majors], and who he is going to become."

The Marlins acquired Harrison from the Brewers in the Christian Yelich trade.

Harrison brings big-time power potential to the Marlins, and he projects to be a big part of their future outfield.

Video: Top Prospects: Monte Harrison, OF, Marlins

At two levels of the Minors last year, Harrison combined for a slash line of .272/.350/.481 with 21 home runs and 67 RBIs.

Harrison could start off at Double-A Jacksonville, but no matter where he opens, he is tracking towards being a fixture at a corner outfield position with the Marlins.

"There's always different mind games and tricks at every single level, it doesn't matter what it is," Harrison said. "That's the point of the levels. Right now, it's getting to learn new coaching, new names, new faces and different sayings. I have to adapt to that. The only thing I knew was the Brewers. The terminology was just clicking, it was a lot easier for me. I'm trying to deal with that and [all] different kinds of things."

Raised in an athletic family, Harrison's brother, Shaquille, is an NBA guard for the Phoenix Suns.

The Suns actually were at the Miami Heat on Monday night and Harrison, along with teammate Lewis Brinson, were at the game.

Tweet from @NBA: Same. pic.twitter.com/mJ45o1YOAc

Shaq Harrison recently made his first NBA callup, and Monte is getting closer to making his MLB debut.

"We've talked about our journeys," Harrison said of his older brother. "We talked about how we could be in the NBA, and I could be in the big leagues."

Harrison is a tireless worker who encourages young athletes to play multiple sports.

"You have a different mindset in the other sports, but they all connect at the end of the day," Harrison said. "You use it differently. Overall, I try to put myself in the best position to be successful."

Some of the skills he's learned from other sports have helped him in baseball.

"In the outfield, I think of it like playing safety or punt returning or something like that," Harrison said. "You don't know where the ball is going to go. You're just reading, and then you have to react."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Monte Harrison