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Building a Champion: Willie Harris

Part of a Series

Willie Harris was drafted out of Kennesaw State University by the Baltimore Orioles in the 24th round of the 1999 first year player draft. He had a breakout season in 2000 at Low-A Delmarva, posting a .390 OBP. The Orioles let him rot on the bench in Baltimore in 2001, however, possibly hampering his development. Low-A to the majors is a huge jump.

In January of 2002, the White Sox acquired him in the Chris Singleton trade. They sent him to AAA Charlotte, where he put together a solid season. He would be called up in late July to take over after the Ray Durham trade.

Willie was the starting second basemen in 2003, and 2004, both times giving way to Roberto Alomar after unimpressive performances. He was able to post a respectable .343 OBP in 2004, and hit well against RHP.

Willie's 2005 campaign was a disappointing one. He had trouble adjusting to his role as a bench player, culminating in a terrible game fundamentally against the A's in July, and an eventual demotion to AAA in August. When he came back to the team as a September call-up, however, he brought a new attitude with him. His play on the field demonstrated that. He was ready whenever called upon, and seemed confident in everything he was asked to do.

In the future, he will likely be nothing more than a utility man and defensive replacement. Though, I still feel that under the right circumstances (read: in a dome, with a platoon partner) Willie could be a very useful player. Unfortunately for Willie, Minnesota seems to me to be the only logical fit. -- And I don't see us trading with them anytime soon.

2005 season Lowlight: July 8th vs. OAK

2005 Postseason Highlight: Scoring World Series clinching run