Player: Bader, Harrison
Card: 2019 Topps Chrome #13
Harrison Joseph Bader (born June 3, 1994 in Bronxville, NY), nicknamed “Tots,” is a professional baseball center fielder for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played in MLB for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bader was born in the village of Bronxville, New York, in the town of Eastchester. Bader’s father Louis Bader is Jewish, and his mother Janice is Italian (Sicilian). Both of his parents are originally from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. His father is the lead counsel for Verizon in New York. He has a younger sister, Sasha. His first cousin is Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio, and he is also related to actor Scott Baio.
He started in baseball with his father throwing batting practice to him when he was five years old, and played shortstop in the Eastchester Little League as a youth with his father continuing to throw him batting practice every evening. Bader grew up a fan of the New York Yankees, and his favorite player was outfielder Roger Maris.
Bader attended the Horace Mann School (’12) in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City, and played as a center fielder for the school’s baseball team where he was named first-team all-region, first-team all-state, first-team all-city, and to the 2012 Rawlings Northeast All-Region First Team. While attending high school, Bader also played for the New York Grays, a travel baseball team.
Harrison played college baseball at the University of Florida. The Cardinals selected him in the third round of the 2015 MLB draft and he made his MLB debut with them in 2017.
The Cardinals promoted him to the major leagues on April 3, after an injury to Jedd Gyorko. After his call-up, Bader first became St. Louis’ fourth outfielder, then their starting center fielder after Tommy Pham was traded on July 31. He scored from second base on an infield single by Austin Gomber at Colorado on August 26; at the end of the season, he was the Cardinals’ MLBPAA Heart & Hustle Award nominee.
Bader finished his 2018 rookie campaign batting .264 with 12 home runs, 37 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases in 138 games. His stolen base percentage of 83.3% was the 4th-best in the NL. His sprint speed was 30.1 feet/second, 2nd-fastest of all major leaguers with 100 or more competitive runs. On defense, he ranked 4th among MLB outfielders with 19 Defensive Runs Saved. He led the major leagues in 5-star catches (7), and was tied for first in Outs Above Average (21) according to Statcast.
Among National League rookie leaders, he was in the top five in runs (61; 4th), doubles (20; 5th), home runs (12; 5th), and extra base hits (34; 5th). He tied for the National League lead among rookies with eight outfield assists. His 15 stolen bases as a rookie were the most by a Cardinal since Kolten Wong in 2014, and his 100 hits were the most since Colby Rasmus in 2009. Bader was named to the Baseball America 2008 All-Star Rookie Team and the Topps 2018 All-Star Rookie Team, and came in 6th in the voting for NL Rookie of the Year.
In 2019, he was named the “Best Defensive Outfielder” in the National League in Baseball America’s 2019 Best Tools survey of managers, coaches, scouts, and executives. He also received his first nomination and was a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove.
In 2021, Harrison’s sprint speed of 29.5 feet/second was 6th-fastest in major league baseball, of all players with 100 or more competitive runs. On defense, Bader’s .973 zone rating was the highest by any Major League outfielder in history since the category began being tracked in 1987.
He led major league baseball outfielders in SABR defensive index (14.4) in 2021, ultimate zone rating (11.4), putouts/9 innings (2.93), range factor/9 (2.97), and zone rating (.973). He led NL outfielders in outs above average (13) and runs prevented (12), and was 3rd in defensive runs saved (15). Bader won the Gold Glove Award in center field, one of five Cardinals (an MLB record) to win the award. He was the first Cardinals center fielder to win a Gold Glove since Jim Edmonds in 2000–05.
Overall, Bader was the Cardinal’s starting center fielder for parts of six seasons. While with the Cardinals, Bader partnered with Sonic Drive-In to sell “Bader Tots” at participating St. Louis area locations.
The Cardinals traded Bader to the Yankees in 2022. In his debut game with the Yankees, he knocked in three runs with clutch hitting, but was overshadowed by Aaron Judge’s 60th HR of the year and Giancarlo Stanton’s walk-off grand slam.
Harrison is on Twitter @aybaybader
Harrison is part of the MLB Current Players Tour – Go To The Next Stop
Harrison is also part of the St. Louis Cardinals Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Harrison is also part of the New York Yankee Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See Harrison’s baseball cards at TCDB
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