Short Time Mets Outfielder Willie Harris (2011)

William Charles Harris was born on June 22nd, 1978 in Cairo, Georgia the same hometown of Jackie Robinson. The five foot nine Harris attended Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw Georgia.

In 1999 he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 24th round. Harris never showed much power, even in the minor leagues. In 2001 he batted .305 at AA Bowie getting pushed up to the majors for a brief nine games in September. The next season he was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Chris Singleton. At AAA Charlotte in 2002 he to hit .283 and was brought up for 49 games where he hit .233. He had a strong minor league start in 2003 batting .380 in 28 games getting back to the Sox big league club where he hit just .204.

In 2004 he became a regular outfielder in Chicago batting .262 but hit just 2 HRs with 15 doubles & 27 RBIs in 129 games. He was part of the White Sox 2005 World Series team, scoring the winning run in Game #4 after singling off Houston's Brad Lidge, he scored on Jermaine Dye's base hit in the 8th inning.

The journey man then moved on to Boston (2006) & Atlanta (2007) where he became the first Braves player since Felix Millan to have a six hit day. In that game on July 21st 2007 he was 6-6 with two triples & six RBIs. The next year he joined the Washington Nationals where he would play for three seasons as an everyday outfielder.

In 2008 he had his best season hitting 13 HRs with 14 doubles 43 RBIs & batting .251. His numbers diminished over the next two years, as he was only batting .183 in 2010 although he did hit ten HRs. He was granted free agency & signed on with the New York Mets in a one year deal for 2011.

Harris debuted with the Mets on Opening Day 2011 as he batted second & played left field getting two hits in Florida against the Marlins. Over the next two days he drove in two runs in each game and hit safely in every game of the first week. From there on he struggled falling to the .203 mark by the last week of May. After driving in a run during the subway series matchups on May 22nd it took him another whole month before he had another RBI.

In September he hit his second HR of the year, it came in St. Louis in a game against the Cardinals. In the final month he drove in six runs finishing the year with 23 RBIs, while batting .246 with 2 HRs 11 doubles & 62 strike outs in 240 at bats. Harris did draw 36 walks & posted a .351 on base %, fifth on the ball club. He was granted free agency at the end of the year & signed with the Cincinnati Reds.

Harris began the year with the Reds but hit just .114 through June & was shipped to the minors. He spent the rest of 2012 at AAA Louisville, batting .224 with 3 HRs & 20 RBIs.

In his 12 year career; he batted .238 with 580 hits 39 HRs 100 doubles 24 triples 212 RBIs & a .327 on base %. In the outfield he posted a .987 fielding % with 16 assists in 567 games.


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