Harrison, 27, returns to his original organization, as the Brewers selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft. He drew a lot of attention as he moved up the minor leagues due to his speed-power-defense combination. He split 2017 between Class-A and High-A, hitting 21 home runs and stealing 27 bases. That was enough to get him onto Baseball America’s list of the 100 best prospects in the league and included in the Christian Yelich trade prior to 2018.
Unfortunately, mounting strikeout numbers have been an issue for Harrison since reaching the upper levels of the minors. He’s gone down on strikes in more than 30% of his Double-A and Triple-A plate appearances as well as getting punched out at a 48.7% rate in the majors. That latter number is in a small sample of just 76 trips to the plate but also highlights why he hasn’t been given an extended run of play there.
The Marlins released him in March of last year and he signed a minor league deal with the Angels. He did get 14 plate appearances in the big leagues for the Halos but spent most of his time in Triple-A. In 82 games down there, he hit nine homers and swiped 28 bags but struck out in 34.1% of his trips to the plate. He was outrighted in the middle of the season and elected free agency in October.
The Brewers have plenty of outfield options on the 40-man roster, with Yelich, Garrett Mitchell, Tyrone Taylor, Jesse Winker, Brian Anderson and Blake Perkins all in the mix. They also have some highly-touted prospects near the majors, such as Sal Frelick and Joey Wiemer, with Jackson Chourio not far behind. That will probably make it challenging for Harrison to work his way back to the big leagues, though the new rules could potentially work in his favor. The upcoming season will see bans on defensive shifts and limits on pick-off moves, with those changes theoretically making speed and defense more impactful. Should Harrison manage to get onto the roster, he’s out of options but he still has less than a year of service time, giving the club plenty of affordable control over his services.