Q&A With Rays 25th Round Pick Jordan Harrison

The Rays selected University of Louisiana-Lafayette left-handed pitcher Jordan Harrison in the 25th round last week. Inside, the southpaw, who had previously been drafted by the Mets in the 30th round in 2009, discusses how being drafted a second time was different from the first, his pitching arsenal and approach to attacking hitters, why he chose to transfer to Louisiana-Lafayette and much more.

School: University of Louisiana-Lafayette
Born: 4/9/1991
B/T: R/L
HT/WT: 6-1/185

• Went 3-3 with a 3.42 ERA (50-IP, 19-ER) in 17 apps, including 6 starts, during his junior season in 2012.

• Had best start of the year against Western Kentucky when he threw a complete game one-hitter while striking out 11 and was named Sun Belt Player of the Week the following day.

• Played previously at North Central Texas College where he was named to the Texas/New Mexico JUCO All-Star Team in 2010.

• Previously selected in the 30th round of the 2009 June Draft by the New York Mets.

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Rays Digest: You've already been drafted once by the Mets back in 2009, how is it different this time? How does it compare?

Jordan Harrison: I think coming out of high school I didn't feel like I was ready and so I was leaning towards college the whole time. This time I knew I was ready and I was ready to get on with my career. That was my mindset.

Rays Digest: Did you have any contact with the Rays this time? Did you kind of know that they were looking at you and were possibly going to draft you?

Jordan Harrison: Yeah I had been talking to the scout from Louisiana for a couple of weeks before the draft.

Rays Digest: Where were you and what were you doing when you found out that you had been drafted? Were you with family and friends?

Jordan Harrison: I was actually in my truck waiting for our charter bus to come get us, because we were going to The Woodlands to play a team in the TCL, the Texas Collegiate League.

Rays Digest: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself as a pitcher? What kinds of pitches do you throw and what is your approach like on the mound?

Jordan Harrison: I throw a fastball, curveball and changeup. My curveball is usually used in my set-up counts, it's not an out-pitch. I usually pitch off my fastball, but I throw the changeup in fastball counts and that's how I've been successful. It keeps the hitters off-balance. Being able to throw three pitches for a strike helps a lot.

Rays Digest: Earlier this year against Western Kentucky you had one heck of a game. You pitched a complete game and only gave up one hit and struck out 11 guys. It seems like you had all of your pitches going that day. Can you tell me a little bit about that performance?

Jordan Harrison: I kept the ball down for the most part and I got ahead of a lot of hitters and I stayed out of the 2-0 count for the most part. I just kept them off-balance. I don't know, when something like that happens you have to have a little bit of luck on your side too.

Rays Digest: You've been a starter and a reliever, in which role are you most comfortable?

Jordan Harrison: It doesn't really matter. I'm pretty comfortable starting, but I'm also really comfortable coming in in jams. They have me down as both here [in Port Charlotte at Rays camp] right now.

Rays Digest: Do you have any idea where you'll be assigned?

Jordan Harrison: I think it's here in Port Charlotte.

Rays Digest: You transferred from North Central Texas College to Louisiana-Lafayette , why did you decide to transfer there? Was it the baseball program and the coaching staff?

Jordan Harrison: I heard it was a good pitching-program, which it was. I had never heard anything bad about it and they were one of the first to jump on me, so I kind of stuck with them.

Rays Digest: As a junior, you didn't have to sign with the Rays, you could have gone back to school. Was part of your deciding to sign the fact that the Rays are such a great organization at developing pitchers?

Jordan Harrison: Oh yeah, most definitely.



John Gregg is Publisher and Senior Editor of Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @RaysDigest. He can also be reached via e-mail at raysdigest.com@gmail.com.

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