Cardinals Sign Navy Pitcher Mitch Harris

Looking toward the future, the St. Louis Cardinals sign Navy pitching star currently in active service.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced Saturday they have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed pitcher Mitch Harris, their 13th round selection (395th overall) in last year's First-Year Player Draft. Harris was drafted out of the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy last May.

Harris is currently serving as a weapons officer aboard the USS Ponce and will deploy to sea later this year, but today's agreement guarantees the 6-4, 215-pound pitcher a place in the St. Louis organization once he completes his military service.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Mitch," said Cardinals' Vice President, Scouting and Player Development Jeff Luhnow. "We feel that he can make a strong contribution to our organization once his service to our country is complete."

Harris completed his four-year career at Navy as one of the best pitchers in the program's history. He averaged 11.78 strikeouts per nine innings over his career - the highest mark in school history – finishing with a 20-13 record and 2.51 ERA over 222.1 innings. Harris fanned more batters than innings pitched over each of his four seasons to rack up 291 strikeouts - the second-highest total in school history.

In addition to his exploits on the mound, Harris also was a big contributor with the bat, hitting .295 with 16 home runs and 112 RBI over his four years. The 23-year old North Carolina native became the second highest draft pick in Navy history and the first player in program history to be drafted twice (Atlanta Braves - 24th round in 2007).

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