(October 16) — York Revolution leadoff hitter Alonzo Harris has been named the 2017 Atlantic League Player of the Year, the league announced on Monday. The versatile infielder/outfielder caps his spectacular and historic season by becoming just the second in Revs history to take home the league’s top honor for a position player, and the first to do so outright.
Harris utilized his special combination of power and speed to spark a Revolution offense that was the league’s most potent during its second half title run, becoming just the sixth player in the 20-year history of the Atlantic League to join the 20-30 club (20-plus home runs, 30-plus stolen bases) and the first to do so in eight seasons.
The Player of the Year selection adds to a full list of awards for Harris, who helped lead the Revolution to its third Atlantic League championship in just 11 seasons as a franchise. Harris was previously selected a midseason Atlantic League All-Star, the Revs’ 2017 Team MVP, and an Atlantic League Post-Season All-Star, all before being announced as the 2017 Atlantic League Player of the Year.
Harris joins Scott Grimes as the only two Atlantic League Player of the Year selections in Revolution history. Grimes shared the award in 2010, making Harris the first player in Revs history to win league MVP honors outright.
“’Zo’ was the most versatile and impactful player in the league,” stated Revolution manager Mark Mason. “He had a phenomenal season. He truly earned the recognition and the MVP award.”
At the plate, Harris ranked fourth in the league in batting (.315), tied for fourth in home runs (23), tied for second in hits (145), third in total bases (244), fifth in extra-base hits (52), and second in slugging (.530) while leading the league with 89 runs scored. The Revs’ leadoff man also stole 31 bases in his 114 games played.
In addition to his league rankings, Harris’ single-season totals rank him among the elite in Revs franchise history. His home run total ranks tied for fourth and was the most by a Revs batter since 2014, while Harris finished ninth in Revs history in hits, seventh in total bases, tied for seventh in extra-base hits, tied for fifth in slugging, fifth in runs, and tied for fifth in steals. He became the first Revs batter to lead the league in runs scored since Grimes did so in 2010 and 2011.
Prior to reaching the rare 20-30 milestone, Harris became just the 20th player in league history to total at least 20 home runs and 20 steals in one season, accomplishing the feat before the end of August. Harris is the first player in eight years to join the 20-30 club, and his 23 home runs marked the highest home run total by any member of the 20-30 club in nine years.
While his offensive numbers were eye-popping, Harris stood out defensively as well, making spectacular plays on a nightly basis while playing both infield and outfield for the Revs. Harris totaled 42 starts at second base, 36 starts in left field, 16 starts in center field, and 14 starts in right field as well as four starts as a designated hitter.
The 28-year-old began his career in the New York Mets organization after being drafted out of McComb (MS) High School in 2007. Harris spent six seasons in the Mets farm system and one more in the Miami Marlins organization. His contract was acquired by the Revs in April, just before the start of Atlantic League spring training, from St. Paul of the American Association, where he played the previous two seasons.