Harris wasn't ready then, but works to be now

The least and most experienced 27-year-old in the St. Louis Cardinals system speaks about his journey to date.

On Monday afternoon, pitcher Mitch Harris yielded his first professional earned run and absorbed his first loss. In his third inning of work, the State College Spikes right-hander gave up a walk-off double off the left-field wall in the 12th inning. Host Hudson Valley prevailed, 3-2.

It isn't the first time Harris has faced adversity. Almost from the moment he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round in 2008, the Ocala, Fla. native worked to find a way to be released early from his commitment to the US Navy or at least be allowed to pitch after a transfer to the reserves.

Harris this spring
Only in 2013 was he finally free to pursue his mound career from the start of a season for the first time. Harris is working to make up for the lost baseball years, building up his arm after five years of sporadic use.

On one hand, with just eight games pitched since 2008, Harris has the most limited recent baseball record of just about any player around. On the other hand, he is the oldest Spike by far, with worldly experiences about which the others could only dream.

At 27 years and eight months, Harris has been on the earth almost five years longer than his next oldest teammate. In fact, the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder is eight months older than his manager, second-year skipper Oliver Marmol.

Actually, Monday wasn't Harris' first loss. He allowed a pair of home runs to a New York Mets split squad during an emotional spring training appearance with the Cardinals major league club on March 24.

While honored by the opportunity, Harris readily admits he was not ready. He works every day to be better prepared for whatever challenges are ahead.

Harris speaks about the above and much more in this exclusive interview.


Upcoming interviews to include Mason Katz, Gary LaRocque and Mark DeJohn.

Interviews previously posted:
Spikes third baseman Carson Kelly
Spikes manager Oliver Marmol

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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