There are no sure things in baseball. But if your minor-league club has a leadership award, and it also has an Naval Academy graduate on the roster who is four years older than everybody else on the team, and he’s got an earned-run average under 1.00, well …
To no one’s surprise, the State College (Pa.) Spikes honored Reserve Lt. Mitch Harris with the Spikes Leadership Award late last month, a few weeks before wrapping up their season with a 4-3 loss to the Tri-City ValleyCats in Game 3 of the best-of-3 New York-Penn League Championship Series.
Harris, a reliever whose path to the low minors has been documented in this space previously, pitched the ninth inning of his team’s final game, giving up no runs and notching a strikeout. He finished the regular season with a team-low 0.81 ERA and a 4-1 record, throwing 33 1/3 innings in 20 appearances.
The Spikes are a single-A short-season affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Harris likely won’t find out where he’ll play next year until early 2014, as the Cards shuffle their prospects. Keep up with the latest direct from Harris here.