Scouting Report: Ryan Harris

Kiley shares his scouting report on one of the hardest throwers in the 2014 draft class, Ryan Harris.

Ryan Harris, RHP, Florida

6'2/210, R/R, Junior, 21.36 on Draft Day


History

Harris came to Gainesville from Jupiter HS (about a half hour north of West Palm Beach), where scouts tell me he hadn't focused entirely on pitching until his senior year. He had easy velocity into the 90's for awhile, but the effort in his delivery makes him a definite reliever for the Gators and in pro ball. I first saw Harris on Fall Scout Day before his sophomore year, which I wrote up for FanGraphs and video of that appearance is here.

In short, Harris worked 92-96 mph with an 81-82 mph curveball that was solid-average at times but there were some clear things for him to work on. I saw him a few times throughout his sophomore year and he was mostly that same pitcher. At Fall Scout Day this past November (first video below) I saw Harris again and he was 92-95 mph, hitting a 97 and showing a changeup that was ahead of a hard 85 mph slider, but no curveball.


The first video is from Fall Scout Day this past November while the second video is from last weekend in Miami. If you click here, you can see video from Fall Scout Day in 2012.


Spring Report

Fastball: 65/65, Curveball: 45/50+, Changeup: 45/50+, Command: 40/45+

Against Miami, Harris went 2 innings and only threw fastballs. He sat 91-93 for the first 10-15 pitches, then found his timing and sat 93-95 the rest of the way, hitting 96 mph a few times. Harris didn't need much more than his fastball as it had plus velocity and to his arm side had plus sink and run to the point that it would run out of the zone on him. As mentioned above, I've seen a solid-average changeup and breaking ball from Harris in the past, but never in the same outing and, as made clear last weekend, he knows the fastball is his separator.

His feel for his curve and change are below-average as is his command, but Harris is a good athlete with a solid delivery, though there is some effort and his arm action is a little odd. I like that Harris' arm loads at the right time (when his foot plants), that he takes a straight angle to the plate and his delivery creates some deception. His arm action is longer and odd but nothing about it seems to add to an injury risk, just to help complicate his command relative to something more fluid and easy to repeat. Harris' 3/4 arm slot gives more life to his fastball but likely also makes it harder to throw his breaking ball, as does his arm-heavy, slinging release.


Comparables/Projection

There's a handful of guys like Harris in the draft pool every year. Last year, two righty relievers from major schools showed the range where this type of player can go: the Marlins took Arkansas' Colby Suggs with the last pick of the second round while the White Sox took TCU's Andrew Mitchell in the middle of the 4th round.

Both are pro relievers with 60+ fastballs, limited plane, and inconsistent offspeed/command, but have flashed at least one solid-average off-speed pitch along with some success in college. I'll put a 4th-5th round grade on Harris, knowing that he probably doesn't get out of the 4th round if he stays healthy, but he isn't the type of player I'd want to spend that kind of pick on, as a personal preference against college relievers.



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