Harrison highlights Marlins' spring invites

No. 71 prospect going to big league camp after Brewers trade

Monte Harrison finally broke through to Class A Advanced Carolina in 2017, his fourth season in the Minor Leagues. (Chris Baird)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | February 8, 2018 2:30 PM

The Marlins are going to feature a lot of new faces in 2018, and they'll get a close look at many of them starting next week.

Miami extended non-roster invites to Major League Spring Training to 28 players on Thursday -- a group that was highlighted by No. 71 overall prospect Monte Harrison. The 22-year-old outfielder will be joined in big league camp by prospects Isan Diaz, Nick Neidert and Zac Gallen -- each of whom was traded to the Marlins this offseason -- as well as 2017 breakout pitcher Trevor Richards.

Harrison came to the Fish last month along with Diaz, Lewis Brinson and Jordan Yamamoto in the deal that sent outfielder Christian Yelich to the Brewers. The 2014 second-rounder is coming off his best season as a pro, having hit .272/.350/.481 with 21 homers and 27 stolen bases in 122 games between Class A Wisconsin and Class A Advanced Carolina. After injuries kept him from breaking out of the Midwest League in 2015 and 2016, Harrison showed impressive tools in 2017, garnering above-average grades for his power, running, fielding and throwing abilities. He'll likely begin his first season with the Marlins at Class A Advanced Jupiter or Double-A Jacksonville. 

Video: Carolina's Harrison homers to left-center

Diaz (No. 9), Neidert (No.10), Gallen (No. 18) and Richards (No. 27) are all among the Marlins' top 30 prospects in MLB.com's most recent list, though those rankings will be updated on Feb. 20.

Diaz, a former top-100 prospect, has experience at both spots in the middle infield. He's shown more power than is typical for either position but has yet to hit for a high average in full-season ball. Neidert was acquired from the Mariners for Dee Gordon in December. The right-hander relied on impressive control and his above-average fastball and changeup to climb to Double-A in his age-20 season in 2017. Gallen posted a 2.93 ERA with 121 strikeouts in 147 2/3 innings between Class A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A in the Cardinals system last year before the 2016 third-rounder was dealt for outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Richards, who went undrafted out of Drury University, was a Marlins Organization All-Star in 2017 after posting a 2.53 ERA with 158 strikeouts over 146 innings at Class A Advanced and Double-A. 

Other Minor Leaguers invited to Spring Training were right-handers Chris Mazza, Ben Meyer and Yamamoto, catchers Chris Hoo, Sharif Othman and Rodrigo Vigil, shortstop Peter Mooney and outfielder Isaac Galloway.

Miami also announced that it had signed 15 players to Minor League deals that included big-league invites: right-handers Tyler Cloyd, Jumbo Diaz, Javy Guerra, Drew Rucinski, Jacob Turner and Alex Wimmers, left-hander Mike Kickham, catcher Bryan Holaday, infielders Cristhian Adames, Johnny Giavotella, Yadiel Rivera and Jonathan Rodriguez, and outfielders Rafael Ortega, J.B. Shuck and Scott Van Slyke.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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