Meet the 2021 Hops Coaching Staff: Manager Vince Harrison
Vince Harrison stays the course as he arrives to lead the Hillsboro Hops in their first season as a High A level team. Along the way, he has played, coached and is now in his second season as a manager. But, who is Vince? How did he get to Hillsboro?
Manager: Vince Harrison
Originally from Cincinnati, he attended the University of Kentucky. Drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2001 to begin his professional career as a player, Vince spent 2001-2004 in the minor leagues rising to the AA level with the Montgomery Biscuits in 2004. Then fate intervened.
The Texas Rangers claimed Vince in the 2004 Rule 5 Draft but he would miss the entire 2005 season with a broken hand. Later that year, Vince was again selected in the 2005 Rule 5 Draft, this time by the St. Louis Cardinals. He would miss the entire 2006 season with a torn quadriceps. By the time 2007 rolled around, Vince had missed two complete seasons. More than injuries now held him back. He was also two years older.
According to baseball-reference.com, “he went from a marginal prospect to being too old to be a prospect”. But Vince wasn’t ready to give up. He persevered in the Independent Leagues from 2007 to 2011 trying to get another look from a Major League team. He would finally get a look from the Pittsburgh Pirates in November of 2011. But, not as just a player
The Pirates offered Vince a coaching job as a minor league player-coach. He would not see any time as a player. Named a coach for the 2012 West Virginia Power, a single A team, Vince’s coaching career began. That team would produce five future major league players including Gregory Polanco. But, Vince elected to become a free agent after the 2012 season.
Vince Harrison Comes to the Dbacks Organization
Over a year went by before Vince found a new home. In November of 2013, he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks to be a coach. His first assignment was the hitting coach for the 2014 Rookie League Missoula Osprey. Hitting coach became a staple for Vince. He spent the next five seasons working his way up the ladder. Stops were at the 2015 A Kane County Cougars, 2016-17 A Advanced Visalia Rawhide and the 2018
AA Jackson Generals.
In 2019, Vince Harrison earned a promotion to be a manager. He returned to the Kane County Cougars, this time as a head honcho. Scheduled to return for a second year in 2020, Covid-19 interrupted almost everyone’s plans, including Vince. Now, as Minor League Baseball returns after a pandemic absence, Vince becomes the manager of the newly promoted High A Hillsboro Hops.
Along the way, Vince made his mark. In 2011, playing for the York Revolution, Vince earned an ALPB Mid-Season All-Star selection at third base. Leading the team to its second straight championship in the same year, Vince earned postseason MVP.
Keeping it in the Family Trivia
When Vince injured himself in 2005-06, he kept himself busy coaching/teaching at his old high school, Princeton High in Cincinnati. While there, his younger brother, Josh, was a senior. Years later when Vince signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates to start his coaching career, younger brother, Josh Harrison, was already playing for the Pirates in the major leagues. Josh spent eight seasons mostly in the infield from 2011-2018 in Pittsburgh. He spent 2019 with the Detroit Tigers and 2020 with the Washington Nationals. He is still currently with the Nationals. Josh earned All-Star status for the Pirates in 2014 and 2017. Something that makes his older brother very proud. Josh Jackson has a great in-depth interview with Vince over at milb.com
The brothers are also nephews of John Shelby who played in the major leagues for the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Detroit Tigers from 1981-1991. John won World Series rings with the 1983 Orioles and the 1988 Dodgers.
Along with their uncle, the brothers are cousins of John Shelby III, drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2006 and played Minor League ball from 2006-2012. Another cousin, Jeremy Shelby, followed being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2010, playing one season in the Minors.
This week, we got to meet the new manager: Vince Harrison. Check back in next Tuesday morning for part 2 of the four part series when we get to meet the Hops new pitching Coach: Shane Loux
Have you heard about the new High A Hillsboro Hops? Check them out here and what it all means.