Prospect Harrison working to be 5-tool player

February 9th, 2018

MIAMI -- A change of scenery hasn't swayed outfield prospect 's enthusiasm or expectations about being with the Marlins.

Acquired from the Brewers in late January as part of the trade, Harrison is one of Miami's most talented, young players. According to MLB Pipeline, the 22-year-old is the organization's No. 2 rated prospect and 71st on Pipeline's Top 100 list.

At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Harrison has the skill set to develop into a middle-of-the-order threat.

"I'm trying to be a five-tool guy," Harrison said in a phone interview with "I'm trying to put every aspect of my tools on display. When I step on the field, I really try to be one of the best players on the field, if not the best player on the field."

The Marlins will get a good look at Harrison, who will be a non-roster invitee, in Spring Training. Not currently on the 40-man roster, he likely will open the season at either Class A Advanced Jupiter or Double-A Jacksonville.

Wherever Harrison winds up, his progress will be closely monitored. He also is excited to join an organization with Derek Jeter as its chief executive officer.

"He's a guy who is highly respected, on and off the field," Harrison said. "He's a great example. He wasn't called the Captain for no reason. Every time I think of him, I just think of trying to do the right things, and play the game the right way."

From Lee's Summit, Mo., Harrison was a three-sport standout in high school. He was regarded as the best athlete in the 2014 MLB Draft, where he was a second-round selection.

Harrison turned down an opportunity to play wide receiver at the University of Nebraska, and he has no regrets.

"People ask me all the time if I miss football," Harrison said. "I'm like, 'No, it's not even an option in my head.' Even with those injuries."

A serious left ankle injury sidetracked his development in 2015, and a year later, he missed time with a fractured left hamate bone.

"I feel like everything happens for a reason," Harrison said. "There are experiences to everything later on when you realize it.

"Same thing with the hamate. It's just one of those things that's unfortunate. You can't really complain about it or whine about it. What are you supposed to do about a bone in my hand that I didn't even know that I had?"

The breaks started going Harrison's way last year. At two levels of Class A, he combined for 21 home runs and 27 steals to go with a slash line of .272/.350/.481.

"I felt like I had a way different attitude," Harrison said of 2017. "I felt like it was a make-or-break year. I had a lot of motivation going into it. Once I started getting that success, I just rolled with it. I kept my routine. It was very good."

The success carried into the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a slash line of .283/.333/.604. Power? Five of his 15 hits were home runs.

The Marlins took notice, and Harrison was a central figure in the five-player Yelich deal. In the trade, Miami also acquired outfielder , the team's top prospect and No. 27 overall. Infielder and right-hander were also in that transaction. Diaz is Miami's No. 9 prospect.

"The people they got back in the Yelich trade, man, they can definitely make some noise," Harrison said. "Miami fans are kind of sad about all those big names leaving, but, man, the people they're getting back, they should be very excited about. We're going to come in and work, and work hard."

This week, Harrison has been getting a jump start into the Marlins' system as one of more than 20 prospects participating in a mini-camp at the team's Spring Training complex in Jupiter, Fla.

It didn't take long to see the on-field intensity of Gary Denbo, Miami's vice president of player development and scouting.

"He's a very intense guy," Harrison said. "I feel like he's the military dad. A lot of good can come of that. I feel like he's going to make a good, good impression on this organization, and get people to believe this can be a winning club again."

The day before being traded, the Brewers gave Harrison a heads-up phone call that he could be on the move. They reached out to him because he was making plans to attend a fanfest in Milwaukee. At that point, he exchanged messages with Brinson.

"When all this stuff started going down, we all started hitting each other's phone like, 'This is wild,'" Harrison said. "All the Brew Crew boys are back together.'"