"Robert is not your prototypical modern-era player," Jamie Crane, head coach of the East Cobb Braves, said. "He's more a throwback to an earlier era. It's refreshing to see a player with his mindset playing the game.
"With the way he hustles and plays the game, his work ethic, his talent, he'll be successful at not only baseball but at anything he does in life."
Crane said Harris was just named the top pitcher in the East Cobb baseball program. He said he has several good pitches and that keeps batters guessing as to what he'll throw.
"He has an ERA of 0.38 over two years with me and has pitched in 27 games," the East Cobb coach said. "He has a 20-1 won/loss record."
The Woodland athlete also contributes in the infield and outfield and especially with a bat.
"He's played second and third base for us," Crane said. "He's played the outfield. I could probably ask him to play catcher and he'd kill himself trying to do his best for me."
Crane said the Braves were named the No. 1 18-year-old travel team in the country during the summer. "He's the No. 1 pitcher on the No. 1 rated 18-year-old travel team.
"It would not surprise me if his name is called the first day of the draft [in June of next year]. His fastball and breaking ball are so good. He can spot his fastball as well as anyone I've coached in my 15 years."
Corey Gochee, Wildcat head coach, said Harris will be Woodland's No. 1 pitcher in the spring, but his contributions won't be limited to the mound.
Harris led Woodland in most offensive categories last year, including power hitting. He collected 45 hits -- 16 more than his closest teammate -- and was the team's leading home run hitter with eight. He also led the team in doubles, with 11 and accounted for 42 RBIs while scoring 25 runs and drawing just two bases on balls all season. His slugging percentage for Woodland was phenomenal at .870.
"He hit a home run for us to beat Rome," Gochee recalled of his exploits with the bat. "He hit a lot to help us all season. I expect him to come through every time he's up there [at the plate]."
Gochee said it's rare to have a pitcher who can hit so well, play other positions well and be an offensive force.
"His statistics speak for themselves," the Woodland coach said. "He led the team in almost every offensive category, and he pitches as well as he does. That's one of the reasons Charleston is giving him a chance to pitch and play [in an everyday position]."
The coach said Harris will be the team's No. 1 pitcher in the spring and he expects him to lead the Wildcats offensively again.
"He's just a great kid. You always know what you'll get," Gochee said. "He's got that bulldog mentality and he'll go hard for you. On top of that, he's gifted athletically as well. That's why he'll be playing Division 1 baseball at a very good baseball school."
Harris said he signed with College of Charleston because he likes the school and its home city. "I visited the area and thought it would be my home for four years. I thought it would be the best spot for me."
Harris said he never had a pitching instructor but learned a lot on his own and with his dad, Joe.
Those offerings include a fast ball, a curve, a change up and a knuckle ball. "I've been throwing them since I was 10," he said.
The Woodland star said he's shown that fast ball to batters for years when it was in the mid-80s and he always had to be concerned about placement since it wasn't all that overpowering. That changed last summer, he said.
He said someone at East Cobb put a gun on his ball. "It touched 90. It was a surprise. I couldn't believe it."
He credited the tick up in its speed to his getting older and maturing, getting bigger.
Harris, who stands 6 foot 2 inches and weighs about 200 pounds, said the velocity change prompted him to use it more during summer ball and credits it with helping him lower his ERA.
He said that change in his fast ball's speed made him realize that he had a chance to pitch at the next level.
The Woodland star said he's always loved playing baseball, adding he started playing it at about age 3.
"My dad started playing with me and then I played recreational ball some and then travel ball at about age 10.
Harris said his passion for baseball started back then.
"It's what I've grown up with," he said. "It's one of the loves I have in my life."