The Christian Yelich trade was the crown jewel of David Stearns' tenure leading the Brewers front office. It was an all-time winner for Milwaukee and an all-time dud for the Miami Marlins.
Almost exactly 5 years ago, the Brewers sent four highly touted prospects to Miami for the future NL MVP; Lewis Brinson, Isan Diaz, Jordan Yamamoto, and Monte Harrison.
Today, one piece of that trade package returns. The Brewers signed Monte Harrison to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.
Considering where Harrison was ranked as a prospect and the fact he's available just five years later and only coming in on a minors deal says a lot about how his career has gone since the trade.
Harrison made his MLB debut in 2020 for the Marlins, hitting just .170/.235/.255 with one homer, six steals, and 26 strikeouts in 47 ABs. He's tallied just 18 MLB games in the two seasons since.
Harrison is a career .176 hitter in 50 games. His strikeout problems are the major cause of his struggles to stay at the big league level.
After a stint with the Los Angeles Angels last season, Harrison is now set to be back in the Brewers organization. Once thought of as a potential piece of the future outfield in Milwaukee, Harrison is now fighting to be organizational depth. The starting right field job is currently unclaimed for the Brewers. Tyrone Taylor figures to get most of the reps along with Brian Anderson until Joey Wiemer is ready.
Harrison's profile as a prospect was somewhat similar to the profile Wiemer currently has. A speedy, athletic outfielder with a lot of home run power, a cannon for an arm, and questions about the hit tool because of a tendency to strike out. The question's about Wiemer's hit tool aren't quite as big as they were about Harrison's though. Wiemer has proven to be able to hit at the higher levels of the minors while Harrison never really was.
Still, it brings the Yelich trade full circle and perhaps Harrison get on track in spring training but he'd face an uphill battle to earn any roster spot and is more likely battling to prove he should stick around in Triple-A to start the season as organizational depth. The Brewers have several outfield prospects ready to make the jump and when they do, someone will need to play the outfield in Triple-A Nashville.
Harrison joins a growing list of Brewers non-roster invitees as spring training approaches.