Harrison looking forward to MLB draft - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Harrison looking forward to MLB draft

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It's not often folks find their profession right out of highschool. But more than a handful of Hawaii's youngsters may discover their calling and a big paycheck after this week's MLB first year player draft.

One of those expecting an early call is Punahou's Kainoa "K.J." Harrison.

"It's been crazy you know. It's kind of a lot coming at you." Harrison told Hawaii News Now.

It's funny to hear KJ utter those words; It's the same response opposing pitchers have said after facing the smooth swinging slugger.

Ranked as the 10th best "pure" catcher by Baseball America, Harrison is a favorite amongst the 30-major league teams who have paid him an in-house visit.

"On the field they like my arm strength and how I'm a gap-to-gap hitter." says Harrison.

"And I have the potential to become a big power hitter. Off the field, they really like my character and they like me and my family.

That likability is familiar to Hawaii baseball fans. His father, Kenny Harrison starred at the University of Hawaii and played professionally in Japan after being drafted in the 33rd round by the Minnesota Twins and playing one season of minor league ball.

Their father-son conversations are unique -- because Kenny's past can relate to KJ's future.

"I am in the position I am because of him and I thank him and love him." says KJ. "Mentally we always talk about his experiences and you just gotta have that attitude that you belong there."

Further proof that KJ belongs, came last week when he flew to Arizona for the Diamondbacks pre-draft camp.

"We got to see the field and met the general manager. We met the assistant GM, the scouts from bottom to top there. So it was just a crazy experience."

If KJ isn't drafted in an early round the 17-year old has a full ride scholarship to Oregon State that he's more than happy to fall back on.

"We've been thinking about that a lot and either way it's going to be a great option. And Oregon state is ranked number one in the nation. So I just look at it as if it happens it happens and if it doesn't it doesn't."

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