While most of the baseball world’s attention right now is on players who received or did not receive qualifying offers, Brewers PBO David Stearns has signed his second reliever of the offseason.
Will Sammon was the first one to report the signing.
What is there to know about new Brewers reliever Hobie Harris? What might we expect from him in 2022?
Harris was initially drafted in the 31st round by the New York Yankee’s in 2015. After five seasons in the Yankee’s minor league system, he was selected in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2020 offseason.
Harris ended up spending all of 2021 at the Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate. He made 42 appearances, pitched 43.2 innings, and had 3.92 ERA. He held opposing batters to a .190 batting average and struck out 51 batters. Additionally, he converted eight out of 11 save opportunities and recorded six holds.
In 269 career minor league innings, Harris has a 3.34 ERA. As mentioned by Will Sammon, his fastball can hit 99 MPH. He tends to utilize this pitch high in the zone and also throws a curveball and split finger changeup.
As a non-roster invitee, Harris will now have the opportunity to attend big league camp with the Brewers this spring and compete for a 40 man roster spot.
The Brewers potentially may be looking to fill a few holes in their bullpen. Veterans Hunter Strickland and Brad Boxberger were key cogs in the bullpen, but are hitting free agency. A return for either one of these players to the Brewers is not out of the question.
In the interim, the Brewers are taking a flier on Harris as a low-risk, high-reward signing. This type of a signing is pretty common, but for David Stearns to make this transaction so early into the off-season may speak to how confident they feel in him. Typically these types of deals happen much closer to the opening of camp.
If he were to pan out and make an impact for the Crew in 2022, this would not be the first time something like that has happened. Most recently, Jake Cousins and Miguel Sanchez were non-roster invitees who ended up carving out big roles at the major league level.
On paper, there is a lot to like about Hobie Harris. Hopefully he can end up being another great find from David Stearns.