July 17, 2014
Every great baseball team has utility guys – players that can play a wide variety of positions and fill numerous roles on the team. The Lansing Lugnuts have that and more in David Harris, who joined the team in June.
With the ability to play anywhere on the left-side of the field, Harris displays above average speed with quick hands at the plate. Excited to get to know the speedy prospect, Lansing Lugnuts hitting coach Ken Huckaby discusses what he has seen from Harris since he has arrived in Lansing.
“I’m still getting to know David Harris,” said Huckaby. “David has really quick hands and great speed. David is a clubhouse guy and an excellent baseball player. I’m looking forward to getting to know him better in the future.”
Joining the Lugnuts was exciting for Harris as well. Enjoying the opportunity to play the game with a lot of his 2013 teammates from the Northwest League is a huge thrill for the Texas native.
“It’s a blast playing in Lansing,” said Harris. “I’m more comfortable with these guys from playing the game with them last year. I know how they play and they’re all team players.”
Currently batting ..333 with three doubles, a triple, four home runs, and ten RBIs in 74 plate appearances, Harris is enjoying the facilities the Blue Jays Midwest League affiliate has to offer the players.
“Lansing is really nice,” Harris said, smiling. “It’s a great baseball town with an awesome stadium. I feel Lansing has some of the best facilities in minor league baseball.”
The utility player is also enjoying the opportunity to work with his new hitting coach Ken Huckaby. Harris really enjoys Huckaby’s approach to coaching.
“Huckaby is a great guy,” stated Harris. “Huckaby keeps it loose and makes sure you’re sticking to your approach at the plate. He doesn’t focus a lot on mechanics, but more on your swing timing.”
Harris batted .263 with nine doubles, two home runs, and 19 RBIs as a member of the Vancouver Canadians in 2013. He had a great time in the Northwest League, especially winning the championship, last September.
“Winning the Northwest League Championship was awesome,” Harris recalls. “The guys were great and it was cool being part of a winning squad. Everybody wants to be on a team that wins games and it was a great way to begin my professional career.”
Selected in the 36th round of the 2013 MLB draft, Harris has nothing but good things to say about his draft experience which he was able to share with his family.
“My draft experience was cool,” Harris said with a smile. “It was exciting having my family there. Everybody showed up at the same time when my name got called. My cousin was the first to hear the news and he went nuts. It was a really cool and memorable experience.”
Prior to playing professional baseball, Harris played college baseball at Southern Arkansas University. An experience he claims was great due to excellent coaching and advice.
“My time at Southern Arkansas was amazing,” said Harris. “Playing for Coach Browning was awesome. He’s a hard-nosed coach.”
“Coach Browning always told us to never give up and we would have a chance after college,” he added. “That message really stuck in my mind and I’m glad it worked out.”
It was while attending Southern Arkansas that Harris had his most memorable baseball game of his career when he hit a walk off grand slam in the bottom of the 9th to give the Muleriders a 13-11 victory.
“It was the bottom of the 9th inning and I came to the plate with the bases loaded. It was a 1-2 count and I fouled off a curveball for the fourth pitch. The pitcher threw another curveball for the fifth pitch and it hung up a little bit. I hit it and it left the field. It was a great feeling and a great day!”
Hopefully David Harris will continue to make memories in the game of baseball for years to come.