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There’s another Harrison with big-league dreams

Photo courtesy of the Harrison family

Kyle Harrison, the Giants’ top prospect, is on the cusp of making his debut. Back home in Danville, his younger brother is further away from The Show, but with the same aspirations. 

Connor “Bear” Harrison, Kyle’s younger brother, is following him as a standout star at De La Salle. The senior catcher was named North Coast Section Baseball Player of the Year this week and is planning on playing collegiately. 

Harrison, a right-handed hitting catcher, batted .419 with six doubles, two triples and two home runs. Hitting cleanup, he posted a .484 on-base percentage and drove in 27 runs while striking out just six times all season. 

“He’s going to be a pro,” De La Salle head coach David Jeans told KNBR.com in a recent phone interview. 

Harrison will be presented with the Player of the Year award at the Cal-Hi Sports’ end-of-year banquet on May 21 at Levi’s Stadium. He also won Team MVP honors for De La Salle.

A 6-foot-3, 210-pound presence, Harrison is built sturdier than his older brother. He just began pitching this year, Jeans said, but is already up to 92 mph on his fastball. Since he’s been primarily a catcher, that may be more of an indication of his arm strength than anything. 

“Yeah, he’s a dude, man,” Chris Harrison, Connor and Kyle’s dad, said. “He’s legit.” 

Chris sent his sons to De La Salle High School because of its reputation as a baseball powerhouse. There, they faced some of the region’s toughest competition. Kyle rose to the top of it, foregoing UCLA for a $2.5 million signing bonus with the Giants before becoming the best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball. In Kyle’s last two starts for the Sacramento River Cats, he’s punched out 15 hitters while allowing two runs in 7.2 innings.

Connor, too, has been up to the task. 

“He’s doing awesome,” Jeans said in late March, before the high school season ended. “He’s hitting .500, he’s behind the plate and he’s a closer for us — that we haven’t used, and he’s 91 (mph). He’s going to be a pro. I’m sure. I’m sure he’ll get up to 95.” 

Jeans said that Harrison’s fastball clocked in at 83 mph last year, so increasing to the low 90s is significant. He’s different positionally than Kyle, but similar in their personality and competitive edge, the coach said.

Harrison is currently undecided on where he’ll attend college next fall, but has offers from multiple Division I schools, his dad said. He may also look at junior college options. 

The ultimate dream: forming a big-league battery with his older brother. 

“He’s trying to follow his brother’s lofty footsteps,” Chris said. “It’s harder, though, for a righty righty catcher. He’s got to work extra hard. But he’s on a path. We’re talking to a lot of colleges. He’s trying to figure out the best path forward to play ball in college. It’s good. It’s just weird when you have a lefty pitcher compared to a righty righty. Bear’s got to do everything more.” 

“It’ll be a different path than Kyle, but he’s got the same mentality,” Jeans said.