Phillies Prospect #17: Brad Harman

Nobody knows for sure why Brad Harman was so bad in 2006, but whatever the reason, he solved the problem last season and put up some pretty nice numbers at Clearwater to put himself back on the prospect radar.

Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent in November, 2003.

B:T: R  / Height: 6' 1" / Weight: 175 lbs.

Birth Date: November 19, 1985

2007 Team: Clearwater

Positions Played in 2007: 2B (110 g), SS (11 g)

Last Year's Ranking: 33rd

Why Harman jumped from #33 to #17: 2006 was somewhat of a disaster for the Australian prospect. His strikeouts were way above the level they had been, while his average and power numbers fell off the table. Had that not happened, Harman would have been ranked much higher last season and would have been able to climb a little from there, but with that season on his resume, there are at least some doubts about the future that he can have. A good year in 2008 will push his star higher and show that 2006 was some sort of awful, bad nightmare that Harman has awoken from.

Batting and Power:  Brad Harman has pretty much lost his bearings when it comes to plate discipline. The past two seasons, he's struck out 207 times and his walk ratios aren't where they need to be. Swinging at bad pitches pushed up Harman's strikeout numbers and sank his average in 2006, and while his strikeouts were still too high last season, he at least pumped his average to .281 at Clearwater, which is about where the Phillies had hoped Harman would be hitting throughout his career. At least Harman rediscovered his power stroke last season, which was blatantly absent in 2006 when he hit just two home runs.

Baserunning and Speed: He's not the fastest runner, but he's also not the slowest. Harman's biggest problem is that he's got a slow first couple of steps, but once he gets going, he's got just about average speed. Harman has been smart enough to use his speed in the right spots and not try to do too much when he's on base. Harman has learned a lot about how to steal bases and picking his spots allows him to post above average stolen base percentages, albeit with a small amount of attempts.

Defense: The Phillies continue to work with Harman to find the right spot on the infield for him to play. That slow first step is a big reason why they're a little leery of putting him at shortstop and just leaving him there. His glove work is getting much better and he's put himself slightly above average when it comes to fielding percentage, but again, range continues to be an issue. The Phillies are working him at second, short and at third, but one of the middle infield spots would appear to be where Harman will wind up long term.

Projection: It was smart to have Harman repeat the season at Clearwater rather than promoting him to Double-A Reading last summer. This year, he's destined to start the year at Reading and he should be ready for the challenge. Because he can play three different positions, Harman should be able to at least achieve utility infielder status at the Major League level and has the talent to go pretty well beyond that if he can improve his offensive issues. Let's see what Harman does at Double-A this season, because that will give us a better image of just how far he can go and what type of player he'll wind up being. If he struggles with the R-Phils, it's going to be tough to consider Harman a big time prospect, but if he can put up good numbers in his first Double-A season, then Harman could be well on his way to have a ticket to Philadelphia.

Brad Harman's career stats

2004 Clearwater 0 0 .000 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1.000 .000
2004 Gulf Coast 2 19 .230 51 183 23 42 10 0 11 41 .281 .317
2005 Lakewood 11 58 .303 105 419 63 127 23 1 45 89 .380 .442
2006 Clearwater 2 25 .241 119 423 59 102 19 1 48 102 .322 .305
2007 Clearwater 13 62 .281 122 448 63 126 26 5 40 105 .341 .449
TOTALS 28 164 .270 398 1473 209 397 78 7 145 337 .340 .389

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