Minors | General | 10/21/2019

Hometown pride lifts Harris

Stephanie Wakefield        
Photo: Trey Harris (Stephanie Wakefield)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Wanting to have more people that look like you while playing the game you love is normal, but for one Atlanta Braves top prospect he’s doing more than just dreaming about it.

“We were an all-black team and I think it was really cool to play with a lot of kids who look like me and we were beating the crap out of everybody,” said Trey Harris.

Harris is a 23-year-old outfielder for the Braves organization and comes from the Atlanta area, so playing for the Braves is more than just living out a baseball dream.

“To me, it's more of a pride thing. When I play, I play harder because I know I have ‘Braves’ across my chest, and I think it means way more in everything that I do. If I ever get to step foot on SunTrust, I'll probably cry to be honest, because it's just so crazy and to know how your life can come full circle, and now I'll be playing in a stadium that's 15 minutes from my house,” Harris said.

For Harris, it starts in black communities, and he wants those communities and the league to step up so that more kids like him can have the same opportunities he did growing up.

“In the community of baseball, and especially in the black community, if we look out for each other, it will allow baseball to be more of a ‘thing’ because everyone wants to bring the star kid to basketball and football practice,” said Harris. “I've heard it multiple times, but no one wants to drive that kid a little bit out of the way to a baseball practice.”

Some kids need more than just a ride to practice, though.

“I just think we can't be missing out on our great athletes simply because they can't afford it,” Harris said.

Harris has some ways he thinks the organizations can help young athletes get into baseball despite the high costs of equipment.

“We have to find a way to make that cheaper if we're going to want to reach more people, and there's not a shortage of money,” Harris said. “[Major League Baseball] needs to be giving back to the community in a way that actually promotes baseball, in my opinion.”

Harris believes the traditional ideas and thought processes surrounding baseball need to be challenged. Masses of potential baseball players are not getting the opportunity to play because they can’t afford hefty price tags for top-notch equipment and team fees.

He was more fortunate, however, than many aspiring players.

Harris attributes much of his success to Perfect Game showcases and tournaments across the southeast with his East Cobb Baseball team during his high school days.

During his time with East Cobb Baseball in 2012, Harris’ team won the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. In 2013, Harris attended the Perfect National Showcase. Scouting reports showed how his speed and quickness were improving and that he was performing well in games. In total, Harris attended 21 PG events, including three showcases.

“I think going to the tournaments and being able to have coaches be all in one area and see you play all the time was a blessing for me. I got an offer from Missouri, which was 12 hours away, and that wouldn't be possible if I didn't play for Perfect Game,” said Harris.

Harris is sitting in a great position in the home stretch of the 2019 season.  He is batting .282 with a pair of home runs in the Arizona Fall League. This coming after a great season where he was named 2019 Braves’ Minor League Player of the Year and slugged 14 HRs, drove in 73 runs and batted .323 in three different levels within the Braves’ organization.

For Harris, he is always looking to help his community and says if it weren’t for his parents and his high school coach he wouldn’t be where he is today.

“I think my high school coach, Daniel Torrenti, was a big influence on me still to this day. And whenever I have good news, I call my mom, dad and him, so he's someone that means a lot to me,” Harris said.  “You never know who you're touching, because I bet for a while, he didn't even realize that I looked up to him in so many ways as a role model. Make sure you’re always doing the right thing because you never know who's watching.”

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