Washington Nationals’ prospect K.J. Harrison – From Hawaii to Harrisburg

BOWIE, Maryland- KJ Harrison grew up in the ’50sth state where his father, Kenny, played for Hawaii Division I baseball.

His family knew the father of Kolten Wong, also a native Hawaiian, who was the 2011 first-round draft pick for the Cardinals and is now an infielder for the Brewers.

When it came time for Harrison to play in college, he left the island and played for Oregon State.

As a junior, he was teammates there with Adleyrutschman, who was a freshman at the time.

“He was an incredible athlete,” Harrisburg infielder Harrison said this week ofrutschman, one of the best catches in the minors with Baltimore. “He had all the tools.”

Slipman was assigned to Double-A Bowie on Tuesday as part of his rehab assignment and was able to bond with Harrison during the series here.

In 2017, Harrison was drafted in the third round by the Oregon State Brewers.

He joined the Washington system after the 2018 season and played for Single-A Hagerstown and Potomac over the next year.

Last year with the Nationals he was third in the minor leagues with a .450 slugging percentage and he hit 14 homers with a .243 average for Harrisburg.

“It’s great,” Harrison said of his participation in the series in Bowie between the Nationals and Orioles. “It’s a good baseball field” at Prince George’s Stadium.

Harrison got off to a quick start on the plate.

He hit two home runs on April 8 in Altoona in the first series of the year.

In games through Wednesday, he hit .273 with three home runs and an .849 OPS with Harrisburg.

He was impressed by right-handed pitcher Cole Henry, who didn’t concede a run in his first 13 innings with Harrisburg this year.

“He has a big arm. He’s a very aggressive pitcher,” said Harrison, who was seated in the stands near the bullpen on the left line before Tuesday’s game in Bowie.

Henry was due to start in a game Thursday afternoon at Bowie.

The Senators lost 10-7 on Wednesday despite 16 hits — including three from outfielder Jack Dunn in 9th place in the order.

KJ stands for Kainoa John. His father played in the minors for the Pirates and Twins.

Harrison was 0-for-5 with a run scored in a day game Thursday as Harrisburg won 6-1 at Bowie. His average fell to 0.254.

Starter Cole Henry gave up a run in 2.2 innings with five walks and four strikeouts.

Henry now has a .57 ERA this year, while reliever Andrew Lee clinched the win with three innings scoreless.


Brady House, a first-round draft pick from the Nationals last year, was named injured with the single-A Fredericksburg Nationals Wednesday for unknown reasons.

House hits .326 with two homers and 24 RBI in just 89 at-bats. He’s among the leaders in the minors in RBI but will miss all series this week in Lynchburg.

Jeremy De La Rosa hit his fifth home run of the year Wednesday as Fredericksburg won 4-2 at Lynchburg, Virginia’s Cleveland farm team.

Right-hander Jackson Rutledge, a top pitching prospect, was reinstated by Fredericksburg on Wednesday from the injured list and was scheduled to pitch Thursday.

Rutledge allowed Fredericksburg seven hits and five earned runs in three innings in his first start of the year Thursday in the first game of a doubleheader.

He had two walks and three strikeouts and threw 59 pitches with 36 strikes.

When he left the game, he was 5-4 down.


After Dee Strange-Gordon was taken off the injury list earlier this week, the Nationals sent infielder Lucius Fox to Triple-A Rochester to make way for Strange-Gordon on the major league list.

Fox is 2-for-25 with the Nationals this year. The Red Wings were 14-11 through Wednesday.


Single-A Wilmington lost 8-6 at home to Bowling Green on Wednesday when leadoff man Darren Baker, son of Dusty, started at second base and was 4-1.

Baker fanned three times as his moving average fell to 0.291.

Shortstop Jordy Barley, batting ninth, was 0-for-4 and his average fell to .162.

The Blue Rocks went into Thursday action 11-12.


From baseball-reference.com May 6, 2010: “Washington Nationals’ Scott Olsen, who started the year in the minors after shoulder surgery last July, is giving up 22 of the first 23 Braves batters he faces until David Ross breaks his no-hit bid with a one-out single in the 8th raise. The Braves then proceed to tie the score at 2-all, but the Nats score a run in the bottom of the 9th on a pinch-hit single by Willie Harris with bases loaded and no out. Tyler Clippard is credited with the 3-2 win.”

As of May 6, 2015: “OF Bryce Harper has the first three-homer game of his career as he led the Nationals to a 7-5 win over the Marlins.”

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