Super special guest on ETS this week: Monte Harrison! The Marlins outfield prospect is a consensus Top 5 talent in the farm system and trending toward cracking most MLB Top 100 lists at midseason. He’s off to a sizzling start for Triple-A New Orleans—.308/.416/.569 with four home runs through 17 games—with aspirations of making his major league debut soon. Harrison explains to Danny, Ethan and Ian how he went from “the smallest kid out of everybody” to a dynamic athlete (6:00), the process of changing his swing after struggling to make contact in 2018 (7:57), his perspective on baseball’s “unwritten rules” (11:43), and how he honors his late grandmother, Eunice Lee Francis (14:57).
Enjoy Episode 5 of ETS!
Here is an excerpt from Monte about how the tradition of accessorizing his uniform began because of insecurity about his late-blooming body:
“Ever since I was young, no matter what sport I played, I wanted to look the flyest, I wanted to be the best one on the field...
“I was actually the smallest kid out of everybody, period, until sophomore year of high school. My coach told me, ‘You’re not a guy that’s gonna stand out, you’re not gonna pop eyes just from stepping on the field. You gotta make yourself well-known, somehow, some way.’
“He told me to start wearing stuff that would make me stand out. I would wear like pink socks, pink arm sleeves. This stuff would be like, ‘What is this little kid doing? He looks stupid.’
“...Until I got on the field and I start playing. And then they’re like, ‘Wow! This is something special. He’s little, but he’s got heart.’ Ever since then, it’s been something I’ve always done.”
And here’s another in defense of bat-flipping and more in-game celebrations:
“People like that type of excitement. We’re entertainers at the end of the day, so we have to entertain. But we have to also do it in a respectful way. If a [pitcher] strikes a guy out, he can celebrate. Now, there’s a fine line of celebrating and going too far, and that’s the same way with bat-flipping...But you should be able to do it and nobody really gets hurt by it.”
The Fish Stripes podcast is home to Miami Marlins shows Fish Bites, Earning Their Stripes and A-Ball with Erik Oas. All new episodes are posted to FishStripes.com/podcasts. You can also find them on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Megaphone, PlayerFM or wherever you normally get your pods from.