Cardinals Prospect Interview: Mitch Harris

The St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect discusses his long road back from Navy service to pitching effectiveness.

Mitch Harris’ backstory is widely known at this point. The 2008 draftee by the St. Louis Cardinals lost roughly five years of his professional baseball career while completing his commitment to serve the U.S. Navy.

Back to baseball and pitching full-time for the first time in 2013, Harris’ ramp up was slow. The time shipboard left the now-29-year-old with a lack of flexibility that had reduced his velocity and effectiveness.

Despite Harris’ age and an obvious need to move him up as quickly as possible, the Cardinals organization left Harris at short-season Class A State College for the entire 2013 season to get acclimated.

In 2014, that changed. By the end of the season, Harris had been promoted twice, briefly reaching Triple-A Memphis before being invited to the Arizona Fall League. There, the right-hander had a nice 12-to-3 strikeout to walk ratio in 12 2/3 innings, but gave up three home runs.

Unless he is added to the 40-man roster this week, Harris will be exposed to his second consecutive Rule 5 Draft. This time, however, he is at risk of being selected.

In the following exclusive interview, Harris discusses his return, including his fastball velocity and his secondary pitches, and looks to the future. .

What is Next

The Cardinal Nation’s extensive interview series from the Arizona Fall League will continue with pitchers Sam Tuivailala and Chris Perry along with infielders Jacob Wilson and Breyvic Valera and outfielder C.J. McElroy.

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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