Through his first five games of the season, Monte Harrison sported just four hits and six strikeouts. After six knocks, it's safe to say he's found his stroke in Triple-A.
Miami's No. 3 prospect had a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored as New Orleans routed Omaha, 10-0, on Sunday afternoon at the Shrine on Airline.
Video: New Orleans' Harrison gets third hit
"Monte is a guy who obviously is making strides," Miami manager Don Mattingly told MLB.com on Sunday. "He's really getting a chance to develop now at the next level.
"I know he had a little hiccup late in spring with [wrist soreness]. It took him a while to get back going. The stuff I read, it looks like he's swinging the bat well and having quality at-bats."
Harrison justified his big league skipper's words of praise early. The center fielder started New Orleans' big offensive day with a leadoff single through the hole at short in the bottom of the first inning, coming around to score from first base on a single to right by Miami's No. 6 prospect Isan Diaz. After singling to left-center field in the third, Harrison walked in the fourth. In the seventh, he and Diaz teamed up again. The outfielder notched a two-out single through the right side of the infield and motored home on Diaz's double to right-center.
Gameday box score
Harrison finished his day with a one-out walk in the eighth, scoring on a groundout to second by Austin Dean. The free pass made Sunday the second two-walk game of the season for Harrison in 11 outings. The 23-year-old had just four of those in 136 games for Double-A Jacksonville last season.
"Allowing him to develop is the key, long term," Mattingly told MLB.com. "With not just him, but all the guys. It's not trying to bring him [up] too early because you have a need, instead of letting the guy develop, so he's ready to compete when he gets here, so he doesn't get beat up and go back."
2019 MiLB include
Since his 4-for-20 start through the season's first five games, Harrison is 11-for-22 over his last six contests to boost his slash line from .200/.304/.400 entering play on April 17 to .357/.449/.619 after Sunday's win. After tallying one homer and one double during his slow start, Harrison has added his second homer Saturday, a triple and two more doubles. Sunday's showing marked Harrison's fourth multi-hit game in his last five. Those are encouraging signs to Miami's brass.
"The power has always been there," Mattingly told MLB.com. "But you don't get to it unless you put it in play."
Diaz finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with four RBIs.