Mitch Harris: From one commitment to another

A 2008 draftee yet to officially pitch due to military commitment has news about his 2013 status.

The St. Louis Cardinals and pitcher Mitch Harris have been patient, waiting for the right-hander to complete his compulsory service to the US Navy. The 13th-round pick in the 2008 draft participated in 2012 extended spring training camp during a two-month window between deployments, but was turned down in his request for a discharge one year early.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder stopped pitching upon suffering a tight shoulder on May 5. He returned to active duty in Virginia Beach, Va. a few weeks later, as had been planned.

When Harris had reported to extended spring training in late March, he was throwing 82-83 mph, but knocked off considerable rust in Florida, working his velocity back up to 87-89 before the injury.

The 27-year-old can now see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of finally becoming a full-time professional baseball player. On Friday, Lt. j.g. Harris tweeted the following:

"It's official ... I will be FL bound in Jan to begin the journey of becoming a big leaguer."

Because of Harris' age, a Cardinals official told me last spring that they will look to move him more aggressively than they would with younger pitchers.

For further information about Harris, click on his highlighted name above. You will be taken to his player page, where past articles and news items about him can be read.

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

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