Let’s talk a bit about Miami Marlins center field prospect Monte Harrison, a guy I really love that currently sits outside of most Top-100 prospect boards. As prospects go he’s a bit old (25 next week), but I think Harrison is a guy you should have on your radar. The Marlins are set to call him up this week, and at a glance it seems he might have a clear path to play on a regular basis even with Lewis Brinson coming back this week and Corey Dickerson likely locked into left field.
Harrison is a guy that offers really good speed (FG 60/60) and some nice pop (FG Raw 65/65, with a Game Power of 40/45). If he can get that Game Power more in line with his Raw Power this guy could profile as a future 30/30 star. So, what’s the problem? Why isn’t he a top 100 prospect already (or rather, why did he fall out of the Top 100?)? This guy has a ton of swing and miss in his game, striking out last year in roughly 1/3 of his at bats. Oddly though, he still takes walks at a respectable clip and has done so on a fairly consistent basis.
Fangraphs profile of Harrison shows a guy with a 50% estimated probable outcome of being a bust…but a 10% chance that he’s a 70+ superstar. I mean, that’s a ton of variance for sure but for a kid that runs really fast and hits the ball really hard (over 50% of his balls were hit at 95 MPH or better), you could do worse than to keep this guy on your watchlists. One thing also playing in his favor is that he plays above average defense, which means he might have a longer leash than a bat only prospect.
Diving a bit deeper I went to look at some of his underlying skills and came away with an impression that he’s guy with a ton of variance, but the skills also appear to be trending up across the board. He’s traditionally had decent BB% rates, but increased it from 7.5% in 2018 to 10.2%, a positive change of 2.7%. His K% dipped between 2018 and 2019 from 36.9% to 29.9%, a positive change of 7%. Another positive turn, his HR/FB rate increased another 10% between 2018 and 2019 from 19% to 29%. Lastly his ISO between the last two years has been .159 and .177, which in Major League Baseball is about average to slightly above average. However in 2017 posted an ISO over .200 which is great.
I’m comparing these numbers to MLB averages of course, so expect some regression from the numbers cited as he adjusts. Now we know the K% is absolutely abysmal, but it’s just a part of his game. The other numbers however are all positive and show a guy who has a ton of swing and miss in his game, but oddly seems to be able to see the ball pretty well as evidenced by his BB%.
As I dove deeper into Monte I came away feeling that in deep leagues he’s a guy that’s absolutely worth speculating on at $1 or $2. For shallow 10-teamers, etc. he’s a guy you should at a minimum keep an eye on to see how he reacts and adjusts to Major League pitching. At the end of the day Harrison is the kind of guy we can dream splashes and does become that 30/30 guy.
I mean, at this point I’m committed and I’m going Full Monte. You might too.