A Look at Chinooks in the Minor Leagues
Harris with the Lowell Spinners.
Ryan Harris – Boston Red Sox – Lowell Spinners (A)
Prior to the Chinooks’ first-ever Northwoods playoff appearance in 2013 and the team’s subsequent first-ever league championship in 2014, the inaugural squad in 2012 had its own kind of success. That group currently has twelve alums playing in professional baseball. Ryan Harris was one of six Chinooks pitchers to make the leap to professional baseball when he signed with the Boston Red Sox after his junior season for the Florida Gators. The Red Sox selected him with the 794th pick in the 26th round of the MLB Draft.
The first of the Gators to visit the Lakeshore, Harris preceded fellow teammates Harrison Bader, Eric Hanhold, Mike Vinson, Shaun Anderson, and Ryan Larson in making the trip north to play for the Chinooks. The 6’0” 200 lb. righty made 14 appearances in the summer of 2012 and posted a 1.47 ERA with two saves. He also finished second on the team in strikeouts with 49. For his efforts, Harris was rated as the No. 3 player in the Northwoods League by Perfect Game. “Getting to play at Lakeshore was great for me as a player. I got experience and innings that developed me exponentially as a pitcher,” says Harris. “Playing on a team like Lakeshore is a great way to get daily work with quality coaches and a front office staff who really help you develop.”
When Harris returned to Gainesville, he led the staff with 37 appearances and posted a 3.07 ERA in 2013 and then followed that up with 27 appearances as a junior when he led the Gators with five saves. After being selected in the draft, Harris decided to forgo his senior season to sign with the club, which assigned him to the Lowell Spinners of the Class A New York-Penn League. Harris got off to a slow start with a sore shoulder after the long college season and made just four appearances for the Spinners before the club shut him down; but he got his feet wet in professional baseball and gained a better understanding of what is ahead of him. Harris said recently, “I was shut down for most of the season, but I have rehabbed this offseason and have been working in the gym and on the field to get ready for the season. I have a better idea of what I need to do to prove myself in the spring.”
Like many of the Chinooks, Harris speaks highly of his time at Kapco Park. “That summer was a great time for me and I enjoy great memories from the experience. Everyone there was first class!” Helping players like Ryan develop and gain the opportunity to chase the dream of professional baseball is what the Chinooks club is all about and Harris knows that he has a loyal base of support from his second home up North.