The Yankees thought highly enough of Harris to take him in the second round of the 2003 draft, but they are still waiting to see him produce the way they were expecting.
“He needs to have a good year,” said Mark Newman, a senior vice president who heads the farm system. “He’s still young. He needs to make a step forward.”
Harris, 21, has struggled to make consistent contact in the various levels of Class A, with 152 strikeouts in 380 at-bats in 2004 and 106 in 375 last season. He said yesterday his top goal this season is to “make sure I make as much contact as possible.”
In 1998, the Yankees drafted an OF by the name of Andy Brown – in the 1st round – one pick after the Dodgers took Bubba Crosby.
Brown was a whiff-machine. In his first 254 pro-games, he struck out 366 times – in just 917 ABs. Yet, because he was a 1st round pick, someone had to play CYA on that selection and Brown stayed in the organization for seven years (while batting .220).
So, using the Brown-scale, Harris should stick around until 2009.
It’s silly, actually. As you move up the ladder, the pitchers get better. So, if you can’t make contact as a pup, against crap pitching, why would anyone believe that you’re going to improve as your career moves forward?
Whoever was drafting these kids need to figure that out.