Let me preface this by saying in deep dynasty leagues, you can’t rule out a single prospect. Regardless of age, level, background, every player deserves a look when you are rostering around 1,500 guys in a league, especially those who start out hot. Despite the circumstances, some ballplayers just perform well enough to make you take a look.
Trey Harris is an outfielder in the Atlanta Braves system and he is one of those guys. A 23-year-old who played SEC baseball at Missouri, it shouldn’t surprise anyone the way that Harris has started his pro career in the lower levels of the minors. After being selected in the 32nd round of the 2018 draft, the Powder Springs, Georgia native split his opening campaign between Rookie ball and Single-A Rome. Over his 226 plate appearances last year, Harris slashed .302/.409/.434 with a homer and seven stolen bases.
Harris (@JustCallMe_Duce on Twitter) is back in Rome to start the 2019 campaign and while he is a year and half older than the competition, we have to have him on our radar, at least so we can keep an eye on him as he progresses through the system. Through his first 19 games he has been a hitting machine. The right handed swinger is slashing .356/.434/.534 with a homer and nine total extra base hits. His 181 wRC+ is tied for the sixth best in the entire South Atlantic League and ranks second among players with at least 70 plate appearances.
Harris also ranks among the league leaders in OPS as his .968 clip is good enough for seventh in the Sally. However, he also possesses a lower strikeout rate than any of those guys above him all while collecting the second most plate appearances of that group. This leads us to where Harris is really finding success early on, his ability to recognize and select pitches. Harris has been seeing the ball well and in turn, has improved his batted ball metrics thus far. The line drive and fly ball rates are both up and, obviously, the ground ball rate is down. Harris is pulling the ball more than he did last year, but sometimes that comes with an improvement in hitting balls in the air. It isn’t just the batted ball data that is noteworthy. Harris also owns a K/BB ratio of 0.70 with a 13.2% K rate and a 9.2% BB rate.
Say what you will about Harris’s experience and his level of competition, the young man is producing results. With a glut of outfielders in the system, he is somewhat blocked from progressing quickly. However, if he continues on this tear, he may force the Braves hand and that is really where we will begin to see the dynasty value. The metrics are there, the mechanics are good, he has the pedigree, now may be a good time to buy low on a guy who might not be on many radars, but time may be running out.
Nice job on this interview by Eli Fishman (@elifishmansport) with Harris from earlier this Spring: