Jul 25, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader (48) hits a double for his first career hit in his Major League debut off of Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Jake McGee (not pictured) during the ninth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Former Gator Harrison Bader’s Road to MLB

In 2011, Harrison Bader started his baseball career with a verbal commitment to the University of Pittsburgh. However, without signing his letter of intent, he left the Panthers in 2012 for the University of Maryland. After not receiving a scholarship from the program, he committed to the University of Florida on a partial scholarship.

During his first year with the Gators, his batted .312. In his sophomore year, he batted .377. In 67 games his third year, he batted .297 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs. The highlight of his college career was getting selected for the All-Tournament Team for the 2015 College World Series.

Road to the Show

The St. Louis Cardinals selected Bader in the third round as the 100th overall pick during the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft. During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, he played in the minor leagues affiliated with the Cardinals. He began his professional career with the College State Spikes and was soon promoted to the Peoria Chiefs.  

In 2016, he played for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals, before being promoted to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. Between Memphis and Springfield and Bader played a combined 131 games, batting .267 with 19 home run and 58 RBIs. He was named Minor League Player of the Year by MLB Pipeline. Bader also played for the Glendale Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League before making his major league debut in 2017. Bader was called up by the Cardinals on April 3.

In his first major league game, Bader went 1 for 4 with a double and played centerfield for the Cardinals. 

The 2019 season was a little rocky for this centerfielder. He struggled offensively and was sent back to Memphis. However, after redeeming himself, he returned to the Cardinals, finishing the season strong with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs.

Bader explains that the quarantine has definitely been a strange transition, but is using this free time to stay athletic.

He discusses his experience with adjustment from team to team.

He attributes his success to former Gator Baseball assistant coach Brad Weitzel.

About Sara Dastgerdi

Sara Dastgerdi is a current student at the University of Florida.

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