Who is Jon Harris?
Finally, we have a righty with some height, if not bulk. Harris, who is finishing up his career with Scott Carroll's school,
Southwest Missouri State harumph, stands 6'4" and 190 pounds. That's bigger and stronger than he used to be, and his frame has room for more. His collegiate career has found a nice trajectory, with gradual improvement in all areas that has culminated in a breakout season in 2015 (8-1, 1.85 ERA, 113 strikeouts, 1.04 WHIP over 97 innings). His steady performance, along with a four-pitch mix that makes up for a lack of standout velocity, has boosted his draft stock while other pitchers have fallen off.
How does he rank?
What's his game?
Harris can hit 95 with his fastball, but he sits 91-93, which is lower than the other righties we have profiled thus far. He does what he can with it, showing good control and a little bit of deception -- a deliberate leg kick, followed by some whip in his arm from a high three-quarters slot.
He truly differentiates himself with his secondary stuff. Harris throw two breaking balls -- his curve is better than his slider, but he can get strikes with the latter. A changeup brings up the rear according to the consensus, but a FanGraphs scouting report said it was his best pitch during a game in April. On that post, all of his pitches graded out with future value of 50 or better.
What does he look like?
Why would the White Sox draft him?
If Carlos Rodon didn't fall to the third pick last year, the Sox were said to be interested in Aaron Nola as a Plan B. That's not a perfect comparison in terms of arsenal -- Nola throws a couple ticks harder; Harris has a fourth pitch -- but Nola had the best year of any collegiate pitcher with an advanced feel for his pitches, and Harris fits that description. He has a high floor, and won't need a whole lot of refinement in order to rise quickly through the farm system (Nola isn't having any problems with Double-A right now).
Why would the White Sox draft somebody else?
The lack of a strong, defined one-two combo -- like the ones possessed by Carson Fulmer or Dillon Tate, for instance -- limits' Harris' upside, and also makes him a less viable relief option. Not that a team is basing their decision on their top-10 pick's bullpen future, but the Sox like to introduce their starters to MLB life via that avenue, especially if they factor into immediate plans.