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Monday, January 23, 2017

Vince Harris, Played For Bochy - 9

Originally published Aug. 9, 2010
Playing for the single-A Riverside Red Wave in 1990, Vince Harris had the benefit of having a former major league player and future major league manager as skipper.

Bruce Bochy helmed the Red Wave, his second year as a manager, and he was popular with the players, including Harris, according to The Los Angeles Times.

"He's great," Harris told The Times that July. "He's a good manager to play for. He tells you exactly what he expects and what you have to do."

While Bochy would return to the majors five years later, managing the Padres, Harris would never get there for the first time. He also would never get above AA.

Harris' career began in 1986, taken by the White Sox in the fourth round of the 1986 draft. He played that year at the White Sox' rookie Gulf Coast League team, hitting just .221.

Harris split 1987 between a return to the rookie league team and single-A Daytona Beach. He hit .319 in rookie ball, but just .200 at Daytona. Harris helped win a July GCL game by stealing second. That set up the game's only run, according to The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Getting the promotion to Daytona, Harris started off hot. In his first 26 at-bats, he scored 13 times, according to The Orlando Sentinel. But his average came back down, and he returned to short-season Utica for 1988.

That was the year the White Sox sent him to the Mets. It was a brief stop before he went on to the Padres system and class-A Charleston for 1989. Harris made high-A Riverside for 1990. Under Bochy, Harris hit .282 and earned a promotion to AA Wichita for 1991.

Harris stayed with Wichita through 1993, hitting .286, .281 and .274, but never getting higher than AA.

But he continued playing. In 1994, Harris went into independent ball, playing with the Texas-Louisiana League's Beaumont Bullfrogs.

Then the strike happened and Harris signed with the Cubs as a replacement player. Harris served as the Cubs' prospective leadoff hitter, getting 14 walks in 12 spring games, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The strike over, Harris returned to independent ball, with Abilene, hitting .312 for the Prairie Dogs. He played 1996 with the independent Grays Harbor Gulls of the Western League and he was done.

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