Athletics' Brett Harris Adds Power To His Exciting Tool Set
One number popped off the page for Brett Harris in 2022: a career-high 17 home runs hit between two minor league stops.
The 24-year-old third baseman had never been considered much of a power hitter, but he made a big impression on the Athletics with his hard work and consistency.
Now, he has flashed something else.
“Last year he came into some power,” A’s farm director Ed Sprague said. “I think his power can get to be average.”
The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Harris hit .290/.374/.475 in 113 games last season for High-A Lansing and Double-A Midland.
Power had been the missing tool from Harris’ kit. He lasted until the seventh round in 2021, when the A’s snagged him from Gonzaga. He is well above-average defensively at third, with an above-average hit tool and an average arm.
Now he has hinted at average power.
“He’s just a Steady Eddie guy,” Sprague said. “He hits the ball all around the yard. He’s solid defensively and a heady baserunner. I wouldn’t say he has one tool that’s a ‘wow,’ but he makes all the plays. You just look up and there he is with the numbers.”
Harris has had a long road to professional baseball. He grew up a devoted Cubs fan in Arlington Heights, Ill., then redshirted at Houston in 2017. He transferred to Central Arizona JC, where he hit .350, then moved on to Gonzaga, where he became a fixture.
After the Covid-shortened 2020 season, he had the option to sign as a nondrafted free agent but chose to return to school, where he hit .350 and was named the West Coast Conference defensive player of the year.
Harris arrived at spring training this year showing the signs of offseason diligence.
“The more reps he gets, the better he’s going to be . . . He might be Scott Brosius,” Sprague said, referring to the highly respected, steady former A’s third baseman.
— Lawrence Butler was the talk of big league camp. The outfielder/first baseman made a big impression during his time with the major leaguers.
— Cooper Bowman, the middle infielder acquired from the Yankees in the 2022 trade deadline deal for righthanders Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino, showed an improved swing in spring training, according to Sprague. Bowman flattened his swing and was hitting more line drives in camp.