One complaint that many people have about baseball is the game lacks true athletes compared to the other sports. There may be true baseball players, but few are regarded to have skills to do anything in sports when they enter the league.
That view changed with the Milwaukee Brewers when they drafted Monte Harrison. Not only did they get a high school athlete who should go a long way in baseball, but they selected a player who had talent to dominate in any sport he chose.
Before the draft, it looked as if the Brewers would have no shot at drafting Monte Harrison in the second round. MLB.com not only ranked Harrison as one of the top outfielders entering the draft, but they ranked him as the 23rd best player available. Many believe that the reason he slid all the way to Milwaukee at #50 is because they feared he was un-signable.
The reason that it was going to be so difficult to sign Harrison was because he had a commitment to Nebraska to play both wide receiver on the football team and to play on the baseball team. Not only did he have the talents to do both, but he had a perfect example with Nebraska coach Darrin Erstad, who was also a two-sport star at Nebraska and became an MLB star.
In footage from MLB Network, Harrison showed that he also had tremendous basketball skills as well. He showed his tremendous leaping ability with big-time dunks not only without defenders, but also over them. He showed that in any sport, he had the abilities to take his game to the next level.
But, after being drafted, Harrison signed quickly with the Brewers. With speed and range, he profiles to be a centerfielder with a tremendous arm. He even had is arm clocked 97 miles per hour in a showcase last summer. On draft day Harold Reynolds of MLB Network compared him to Carl Crawford, but his incredible arm strength may give Harrison an even brighter future than Crawford’s.
At the plate, Harrison has power and a quick bat that should help him drive the ball into gaps with consistency. His plus speed should help him to be a dual threat as both a runner and a power hitter. Through his first four games in the Arizona rookie league, Harrison has showed both tools by batting .400 with one homerun and two stolen bases.
At just 18 years old, Harrison has unlimited potential. While he had talents to do anything that he wanted, the quick signing and focus on baseball should help him to become an even better player. While many complain that baseball players are not true athletes, anyone who watches Harrison will quickly realize that there truly are baseball players that have special talents, too.
Reference: MLB.com 2014 Prospect Watch