Josh Harrison is currently a pivotal player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but I don’t believe he is a sustainable positional player for the club. J-Hay was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 6th round as a 3rd baseman. One year later, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates as a young, utility man—a post he has held virtually his whole career.
He has posted mediocre numbers at the plate and has shown unbelievable error numbers, no matter what position he plays. He is certainly valuable off the bench, or as a breath speller. However, for some reason this season, the Pirates have decided to explore his potential as an everyday starter. I’ve decided to compare him to Jose Tabata as an attempt to show that we have better right-field options until Gregory Polanco is called up.
Harrison is known to play a lot of different positions. He can play second base, third base, right field, and in some cases, he can play left field.
There are a lot of fans who have too much faith in J-Hay and think he can play shortstop. In his time playing shortstop he has two errors in five plays. And, despite how little faith fans rely on Mercer or Barmes, their defense at an important position is just simply way better than it would be coming from Harrison.
In his career, Harrison is batting .255 with an OPS of .671, which is awesome in the terms of lead-off hitters, but it is not sustainable.
Tabata, with one more year of experience, is batting .274 with an OPS of .716. Not to bother, but he has a TON less errors in right field. Not to mention, it’s his natural position.
Yes, Harrrison is hot, but I think it is overplayed. He is great off the bench. He is perfect to play any infield position outside of first base and shortstop, and he can play right field. However, I think once he is an everyday guy, we are acting outside of a winning team’s realm.
Once Polanco is called up, Harrison is a role-player for the infield. Think about the way Gaby has played and the way we have treated him. There is a huge value to bench contribution, and that’s all Harrison will be once Polanco is called up… if that ever happens.