- Full name Lucas William Bradley Harrell
- Born 06/03/1985 in Springfield, MO
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: S / Throws: R
- School Ozark
- Debut 07/30/2010
Drafted in the 4th round (119th overall) by the Chicago White Sox in 2004 (signed for $270,000).
View Draft ReportRHP Lucas Harrell should be the third Missouri high school player drafted, in part because he plans on attending junior college and not a four-year school. He relies almost exclusively on his fastball, which sits at 90-93 mph.
Organization Prospect Rankings
In his seventh year as a pro, Harrell finally reached the major leagues in 2010. Winning his big league debut was a huge accomplishment after a shoulder injury forced him to spend more time off the field than on it from 2006-08, including missing all of 2007 following capsule surgery. He now has put together back-to-back healthy seasons, making 29 starts between the big leagues and Triple-A last year while also showing the ability to pitch out of the bullpen. Harrell's best pitch is a two-seam fastball he throws at 88-92 mph. Its sink and tail makes it an above-average pitch. His four-seamer peaks at 93 mph, though he seemed reluctant to throw it in the big leagues. Harrell uses good fastball command to set up a slurvy slider and a changeup with good sink. He mixes his pitches well and has nice feel for pitching. He has a ceiling as a back-of-the-rotation starter and also could find his niche as a middle reliever. The White Sox are coping with rotation uncertainty and rebuilding their bullpen, so they'll give Harrell a long look in spring training.
Harrell never has lacked for competitiveness. Now that his shoulder is sound again, he has the collection of pitches to back up his confidence. He missed all of 2007 following shoulder surgery, and also spent time on the disabled list in 2006 and 2008 with shoulder issues. Harrell flashed his potential for Team USA in the World Cup at the end of last season, throwing 10 scoreless innings in the tournament, including four against Cuba. He would have preferred to be in Chicago, but Daniel Hudson and Carlos Torres were summoned to the big leagues ahead of him. Harrell comes at hitters with two different fastballs: a low-90s sinker that gets a ton of groundouts and a 93-94 mph four-seamer that misses bats. Harrell also has a plus changeup, but his slider has a tendency to flatten out and lacks depth. Harrell has worked primarily as a starter as a pro, but his World Cup experience suggests he can function well as a multiple-inning reliever. He's likely to start 2010 back in Triple-A but will get a chance to make the big league club in spring training. There figures to be at least one spot open for a rookie, and Harrell will compete with Hudson, Torres, Sergio Santos, Clevelan Santeliz and Jon Link.
Harrell ranked as the White Sox's No. 9 prospect after the 2006 season, but he had shoulder surgery that offseason and missed all of 2007. He started to return to form in the second half of 2008, holding his own in a playoff rotation at Double-A Birmingham and following with a promising stint in the Arizona Fall League. His AFL numbers weren't good but that was largely the result of two bad outings, not an overall struggle. At times he shows better velocity (93-95 mph) than before his injury (90-92 mph), giving him a power fastball to go with a good sinker, and his changeup remains a plus pitch. He still needs to improve his slider, but he did Boldmake strides with his control last season. The White Sox have been patient in keeping him on the 40-man roster but he needs a solid wire-to-wire performance in 2009 to make himself more than a possible trade chip.
Ranked among the system's best pitching prospects coming into 2007, Harrell missed the season after relatively minor repairs on his elbow. He also missed the end of the previous season with a strained trapezius muscle. The timing of the elbow injury was bad because he had put himself onto the map in 2006 and had been ticketed to work alongside Gio Gonzalez and Jack Egbert in the Birmingham rotation. Instead, he wound up watching them and Fautino de los Santos jump past him. Harrell wasn't standing still, however, working hard on both his rehabilitation and his overall conditioning. The White Sox credited his strong showing in instructional league to his work ethic. He has a low-90s fastball with life, getting a lot of groundballs on his sinker. He has developed a plus changeup and continues to work on a slider as his third pitch. He'll have to continue to hone his control. Harrell ended instructional league healthy and ready to handle a starter's workload in 2008, most likely in Double-A.
Harrell was part of a banner crop of Missouri high school talent in 2004, and he led Ozark High to the state title. Considered a bit of a project as a fourth-rounder, Harrell nevertheless reached Double-A last year. Harrell goes after hitters with a low-90s fastball. He has sacrificed some velocity for command and life, and he induces a lot of groundballs with the sinking action on his two-seamer. His changeup is much improved and might be his best pitch. He's a good athlete who also played basketball in high school. His 2006 season ended early because he strained a trapezius muscle, but it's not expected to hamper his development. Harrell continues to work on developing an effective slider, and his control is still far from polished. Harrell will open 2007 in Double- A. He's on schedule to be ready for the big leagues in 2009, when the veteran White Sox rotation finally may have openings.