Brad Harman: Hard Work Is Key To Success

Brad Harman is the BlueClaws' 20 year old second baseman who hopes that hard work will be the key that will unlock his door to the major leagues. While it is admittedly a long road to Philadelphia from Lakewood, especially with the organization firmly committed to Chase Utley at second base, Harman refuses to let that hamper the way he works at honing his craft every day.

The Australia native is experiencing a reversal from the norm in his second professional season. The 20-year old was known as a defensive specialist when he was signed as an amateur free agent in 2003. Through the first 60 games of the South Atlantic League season, Harman has made 20 errors and hit over .300.

Harman believes that he and his team can turn things around as the second half of the South Atlantic League season gets underway.

"We are a good team. When we play well, I believe we're unbeatable. If we are able to put games together we can be a very tough team to beat and be a contender." said Harman.

Harman has been a force in the Lakewood starting lineup, hitting .307 through the season's first half. Interestingly, Harman is having a great deal of success in what is traditionally considered a weaker hitting situation. The right-handed hitting Harman is hitting .356 against right-handed pitching and an abysmally low .170 against southpaws. The BlueClaws second baseman wasn't aware of his statistical anomaly until recently and really couldn't explain how it happened.

"I just found that (his average inequity) out today. I haven't really thought about it, but now that I know it it's something I will definitely work harder on. I will try and stand in against lefties in the bullpen and concentrate on picking the ball up out of their hand. I just have to work harder." said Harman.

Harman has been on fire in his last ten games, hitting .375 in those games and the BlueClaws carried a three game winning streak into the end of the first half that they hope will carry over. Harman believes that the team's tepid success at the close of the first half could go a long way to changing the atmosphere in the clubhouse and help the team win because, he believes, winning makes the game fun. Harman said that winning creates a fun clubhouse atmosphere and that makes it easier for players to go about their business. Harman keeps his short-term success in perspective but admits that individual success feels good when the team is winning.

"It feels good to be helping the team win, but ten games is really nothing when you think it about it in comparison to a baseball season that is one hundred forty two games long. Hopefully I can continue to contribute." said Harman.

Harman hopes to get his defense on track by working hard and taking a plethora of groundballs in batting practice to get back to the level defensively he has known in the past. He hopes that he can sustain the offensive prowess he has found this year as well, which may be a tall order considering he is only 20 years old although he believes he can.

"I hope so. I've always been known as a defensive player. I need the defense for myself. I've always swung the bat reasonably, so hopefully I can improve my defense by working hard and taking groundballs." said Harman.

Harman is not pleased with his performance through the first sixty games of the season, even though he still holds a personal goal of making Clearwater by the season's end.

"Obviously, I'm not pleased with how I've played so far. Last year, I had seven errors all season and this year in half a season I've made 20 errors. It just means I have to work harder. It is a goal for me personally to be in Clearwater (by year's end) but I just have to work a lot harder." said the persistent Harman.

Harman has the talent and the work ethic to be a Major League second baseman, but he has plenty to work on as well. Harman needs to become better at picking up the ball off left-handed pitching and he must play better defensively. Despite his personal aspirations to be in Clearwater by season's end, his development would be better served spending the entire season at Lakewood and spending a full off-season working in the Florida Instructional League before starting next season in Clearwater.

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