Resilient Harrison named Class A All-Star

Resilient Harrison named Class A All-Star

APPLETON, Wis. -- As a three-sport athlete in high school and a dual-sport commit to the University of Nebraska, Brewers prospect Monte Harrison was used to being active year-round.

But when the 21-year-old outfielder was sidelined with two injuries during the first two years of his pro career, he was forced to be patient -- and that patience is paying off with a trip to the Midwest League All-Star Game.

Harrison was one of three Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers chosen this week for the June 20 event. Catcher Mario Feliciano and pitcher Braden Webb also got the nod.

"His overall outlook is much more professional. There's a little more sense of urgency to him," Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson said when MLB.com visited last month.

Harrison, who was selected 50th overall by the Brewers in 2014 and is their No. 22-ranked prospect on MLBPipeline.com, saw his first pro season cut eight months short after fracturing his left tibia while trying to stop on a turn at third base. He returned healthy for his second season in 2016 and made big strides, hitting .321/.377/.679 with five home runs over 15 games in June.

"He really was showing the type of player everybody wished and expected he could be as he was covering the outfield, going gap to gap," Erickson said. "He was running the bases very well and making more consistent contact at the plate."

But two weeks later, Harrison suffered another tough injury, breaking the hamate bone in his left hand and being forced to miss two months of the 2016 season.

"I definitely had to go through some tough times," Harrison said. "They're in the past. You can't really dwell on it. Every day I have little nicks and bruises here and there, but every baseball player deals with them every single day. It's just coming out and getting your body in the best position to be able to play."

Harrison on return from injury

As for this season, the 21-year-old, fully-healed Harrison has finally been able to develop consistency in his daily routine. He entered Thursday with a .785 OPS, eight home runs, 10 doubles and 29 RBIs through 54 games.

"He had six home runs in the first few weeks of the season, so the power numbers are still there," Erickson said. "He's a very explosive kid. You come out and watch him during batting practice and the ball absolutely jumps off his bat. There's a lot of bat speed there."

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Harrison was a former wide receiver at Lee's Summit High School outside of Kansas City and drew scouts' attention for his athleticism alone. But baseball is also a game of mental skill, something Harrison has had to adjust to in the offensively-challenging Midwest League.

"I feel like there's always going to be lulls of some sort in the season, but how short can you make that lull?" Harrison said. "Somebody told me you're always going to have two big stints and two not-so-good stints, so I try to make those stints as short as possible and just pretty much keep working at that every day."

The Double-A Southern League also announced its All-Stars this week, with five Biloxi Shuckers getting the nod, including No. 9 Brewers prospect Mauricio Dubon. The others were infielder Dustin DeMuth, starters Angel Ventura and Aaron Wilkerson, and closer Matt Ramsey.

Carson Mason is an associate reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.