By: Jonathan Cheng
Canadian Baseball Network
DUNEDIN, FLA. – Getting drafted by a Major League team is every young baseball player’s dream - when a team drafts you twice, that’s a marriage meant to be.
The Blue Jays were unable to sign Jon Harris after drafting him in 2012, but thought enough of the former Missouri State pitcher to select him again in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft.
Taken the first time in 2012, Harris elected to play college baseball to mature his game.
“I was 18-years old coming out of high school and growing up being an only child,” said Harris, during Monday practice at the Bobby Mattick Training Center. “It was one of those maturity things, getting out there and living on my own.”
The St. Louis native credited his time at school in developing him as a pitcher and raising his draft stock.
“I learned how to pitch and (use) my tools I had to its best advantage,” said Harris. “It was good to learn those tools and come into my own form as a pitcher.”
The 23-year-old had a slow start to his professional career with the minor-league affiliate Vancouver Canadians, but found his rhythm in 2016 after tweaking his delivery to earn a promotion to the Class-A Lansing Lugnuts.
“I was kind of a static guy, like a robot,” said Harris. “I got some rhythm in my delivery to give me some more fluidness and consistency. It didn’t work right away, but I continued to use it and progress upon it.”
The 6-foot-4 hurler believes “the second time’s the charm,” and is poised for another step forward in his career with the organization that followed him since high school. He reminisced about the call he received when the Blue Jays drafted him for the second time.
“I got the phone call in 2015, and (the Blue Jays) said, ‘If you’re still available at 29, we’re taking you,’ and they took that chance,” said Harris. “I’m happy to be here, and I’m glad I can represent Toronto in this great organization.”