Jays From the Couch continues our Toronto Blue Jays 2017 Top Prospects List with #11, RHP Jonathan Harris
It’s that time of year again! We’re counting down our Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects for 2017. We’ve selected our Top 15 and will be profiling each one. You are bound to find many of these lists in your travels, which makes for great conversation. The basis for rankings varies even more than the number of lists you’ll find. Some prefer to look at how close to “big league ready” a prospect is, while others look at “stuff” or “tools”.
To construct our list, we have scoured over scouting reports, numbers and a lot more to finalize our 2017 Top Prospects list. Feel free to weigh in on each selection in the comment section! It’s part of the fun!
Check out the Blue Jays prospects that didn’t quite make our list in our Honorable Mentions
Name: Jon Harris or Jonathan Harris
Born: October 16, 1993
Drafted: 1st round, 2015. Toronto Blue Jays
Weight: 175 lbs
They say that three times a charm, but when it came to Harris, two times a charm. When RHP Jon Harris was still on the draft board when the Blue Jays 29th pick came up, the Blue Jays didn’t hesitate. The Blue Jays initially selected Jonathan Harris in the 33rd round back in 2012. Rather than signing, Harris headed to Missouri State. Smart move for Harris who signed for 1.9M.
After a disappointing first professional, the 22-yr-old struggled to a record of 0-5 and 6.75 ERA with the Vancouver Canadians, many questioned Harris’ durability, command and whether the Blue Jays had wasted their first round pick.
Fortunately for Jonathan Harris, it didn’t take long to put the doubters to rest. Harris dominated the Midwest League after tweaking his delivery. Harris made some small changes to his delivery which cleaned up his leg kick cleaned up and lengthened his stride.With a more consistent delivery, Harris starting attacking the strike zone with more regularity. Throwing more than 62% of his pitches for strikes allowed Harris to lower his base on balls from 5.25/9IP with the C’s in 2015 to 2.55/9IP with the Lugnuts.
Jon Harris 2015 Delivery
Jon Harris 2016 Delivery
An improved delivery also allowed Harris to better utilize his mid-90’s fastball and his above average change and curve.
After getting 3 no decisions in his first 3 starts, Harris earned his first professional win when he went 5 scoreless innings against the Quad Cities River Bandits on May 5th. Harris would not allow a run in his next three starts, throwing more than 28 scoreless innings across 5 starts. During his scoreless streak, Harris would strike out 11 batters twice.
Then on July 18th, Harris would pitch his last game with the Lugnuts, a 5.2 inning loss. Despite taking the loss Harris lowered his ERA from 2.28 to 2.23, finishing with a Midwest League record of 8 wins and 2 losses.
On July 23 Harris made his first start with the Florida State League Dunedin Blue Jays. Harris allowed 5 runs on 9 hits over 5 innings. Not the start he was looking for. Fortunately for Harris, he would turn in 3 quality starts in a row after that stinker.
Upon his promotion to the D-Jays, Harris’ strike numbers took a hit. After striking out better than 7 batters per 9 innings, Harris barely struck out 5 batters per 9 innings in the Florida State League. He also experienced a slight increase in the walk department with a 2.80 BB/9.
MLB Pipeline: Harris is ranked as the Blue Jays #6 prospect, thanks to a fastball that received a 60 scouting grade and a pair of 55 grades on his change and slider.
Baseball America: The Missouri native landed at number 9. Baseball America’s John Manuel points to Harris’ ‘lack of a true plus’ to explain his ranking.
John Sickel: #7
At 23-yr-olds, Harris is expected to move more quickly in 2017. So with just 45IP of FSL under his belt, Jon Harris should return to Dunedin in 2017.This writer hopes to see an improvement in the K/9 department as he continues to get more comfortable with adjustments made to his delivery.
A lot of Harris’ success in 2017 hinges on his ability to command his secondary pitches and his ability to develop a swing and miss pitch.