Will Harris
Will Harris
34-Year-Old PitcherRP
Houston Astros
2018 Fantasy Outlook
After being a key component of the bullpen all season, Harris fell out of favor in the playoffs. It obviously didn’t cost the Astros, but Harris only pitched in six postseason games, throwing just four innings. During the season, Harris recorded a 2.98 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, compiling 21 holds and two saves in 45.1 innings. He was shelved from mid-July through late August with a shoulder injury but returned to a 3.37 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with 13 whiffs and two holds in 10.2 innings down the stretch. Relying primarily on a cutter with a curve, he fanned 52 to just seven walks in 45.1 frames. Harris should again be an integral cog in the Houston bullpen, looking for his third consecutive season with at least 20 holds, with a chance to vulture wins behind a prolific offense. In an environment where middle relievers should be deployed more liberally in mixed leagues, Harris is a nice cheap target, as his price could be suppressed after he was virtually ignored in the playoffs. Read Past Outlooks
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$Agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract with the Astros in February of 2017, avoiding arbitration. The deal includes a club option for 2019.
Picks up first hold in 11 outings
PHouston Astros
July 8, 2018
Harris struck out one batter in a third of an inning to pick up his 11th hold of the season in Saturday's 12-6 win over the White Sox.
This was Harris' first hold in 11 games, a stretch of time in which the Astros haven't been in many save situations, negating opportunities for relievers to earn a hold. He's pitched effectively since that previous hold, posting a 2.53 ERA with 17 strikeouts over 10.2 innings, but overall the right-hander's effectiveness has dropped off compared to 2017. Harris' 3.98 ERA this season is the highest it's been since he joined Houston in 2015, likely the product of more batted balls finding holes. A spike in BABIP (.366) has meant runners he puts on base himself and those he inherits are scoring at increasing rates relative to 2017.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .233 308 88 19 66 10 0 4
Since 2016vs Right .215 340 97 17 69 9 1 9
2018vs Left .265 112 31 10 26 4 0 1
2018vs Right .198 105 33 4 20 3 1 2
2017vs Left .233 76 19 3 17 2 0 2
2017vs Right .206 101 33 4 20 2 0 5
2016vs Left .205 120 38 6 23 4 0 1
2016vs Right .236 134 31 9 29 4 0 2
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2016Home 3.61 1.10 89.2 4 4 8 9.9 2.3 1.2
Since 2016Away 2.11 0.99 72.2 4 3 6 10.7 1.6 0.1
2018Home 3.86 1.22 32.2 2 3 0 9.6 3.0 0.8
2018Away 3.54 0.98 20.1 2 0 0 12.8 1.3 0.0
2017Home 4.64 0.98 21.1 1 1 2 11.0 1.3 3.0
2017Away 1.50 0.96 24.0 2 1 0 9.8 1.5 0.0
2016Home 2.78 1.07 35.2 1 0 6 9.6 2.3 0.5
2016Away 1.59 1.02 28.1 0 2 6 9.8 1.9 0.3
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Stat Review
How does Will Harris compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
93.0 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Harris has become a force to be reckoned with since coming over to the Astros prior to the 2015 season. In the past two years, the right-hander has compiled a 2.07 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and more than a K-per-frame over 135.0 combined innings. He served as the midsummer closer for an Astros squad that utilized a revolving door at the back of the bullpen last season, but he hit a rough patch at the wrong time and was lifted from the role after four consecutive outings with at least one run allowed. He has a simple, two-pitch approach that is all curves and cutters, pitches that he will use with a 50/50 frequency when he gets two strikes on a hitter from either side of the plate. He will enter 2017 as one of the primary setup men for closer Ken Giles, and would need Giles to struggle mightily or suffer an injury to get back in the mix for saves.
Claimed off waivers by the Astros last November, Harris performed well for the team during spring training and secured a spot on the Opening Day roster. Overshadowed by free agent signees Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek, the 31-year-old right-hander flew under the radar early in the year, but finished the season with the most appearances among Houston's pitchers (68). Harris easily had his best season as a pro in 2015, likely earning him a similar role out of the bullpen in 2016.
The Diamondbacks had plenty go wrong in 2014, but the emergence of several useful arms in the bullpen was among the pleasant surprises. The 30-year-old Harris was part of that cast, but his advanced age made the team willing to part with him at season's end. With a low-90s fastball and a curveball, he profiles as a middle reliever at this stage. If nothing else, Harris is a good story after spending the better part of seven years ascending through the Rockies' farm system before getting his first look in the big leagues in 2012. Last season, he carried a 29.2% strikeout rate and showed steady control (7.5% BB%), prompting the Astros to claim him off waivers. Look for Harris to get an opportunity to secure an Opening Day roster spot with Houston during spring training.
Harris was great out of the bullpen for the 2013 Diamondbacks, finishing the year with a 2.91 ERA and a 9.1 K/9. The righty is not a likely candidate to close in 2014, but those strikeout rates will always keep him in the discussion in the case of injury, and he brings good control (2.6 BB/9) to the table along with the aforementioned ability to miss bats. With David Hernandez and J.J. Putz coming off of disappointing seasons, Harris' chances of seeing time in the ninth inning in 2014 are not as remote as they might seem at first glance.
After performing some nice middle-relief work at Double-A and Triple-A earlier last season, Harris was rewarded with his first taste of the big leagues. Unfortunately for Harris, he was hit hard upon on arrival, allowing 16 runs on 27 hits over 20 appearances. Now that the Rockies have their full complement of relievers in tow to begin the season, expect Harris to head to Triple-A and be on call in the event of an injury to a reliever.
More Fantasy News
Notches seventh hold
PHouston Astros
May 24, 2018
Harris struck out two and allowed a hit in a scoreless seventh inning in Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Giants.
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Takes loss Saturday
PHouston Astros
April 15, 2018
Harris (0-1) allowed one run on two hits and two walks in one inning, taking the loss in a 6-5 extra-inning defeat to the Rangers.
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Strikes out two
PHouston Astros
March 7, 2018
Harris allowed one hit and struck out two over one inning in Wednesday's game against Miami.
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Velocity returning to normal
PHouston Astros
September 21, 2017
Harris experienced an increase in fastball velocity during his scoreless relief inning in Tuesday's 3-1 win over the White Sox, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Activated from DL
PHouston Astros
August 27, 2017
Harris (shoulder) was activated from the 10-day disabled list Sunday, Julia Morales of AT&T SportsNet Southwest reports.
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