Jun 9, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison (5) fields a ground ball against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Harrison continues to increase fantasy value


Pittsburgh Pirates utility player Josh Harrison likely went undrafted on draft day except possibly in NL-only formats.

Harrison, who has one of the worst OBP’s in baseball over the course of the past four seasons has simply been on fire as of late, during a pretty large sample size of close to 35 games.

As his hot streak continues, Harrison’s fantasy value keeps increasing and should be a guy that is picked up in every format.

Yet it has been hard for Harrison to shake the utility player label as he is owned in only 6.4 percent of ESPN leagues.

While Harrison has posted a .317/..334/.488 line with four homers and four stolen bases in 164 plate appearances this season, there naturally are causes for concern in terms of his fantasy value.

Some of that stems from where Harrison will play when Neil Walker comes back from his DL stint, likely next week. He won’t go back to right field now that Gregory Polanco has arrived and with Starling Marte now red hot, left field isn’t an option either.

That leaves Harrison few options.

But Pirates manager Clint Hurdle will continue to get Harrison at bats as long as he remains hot.

His boost in batting average can be attributed his increased line drive rate and his .341 BABIP. His +wRC now sits at 139 meaning that Harrison has been coming through with the bat in a big way for a Pirates offense that has been one of the National League’s best since May 1.

With Pedro Alvarez struggling in a big way, Harrison will likely start getting some at bats at third base and even though he doesn’t field the position great, he also will likely see some time at shortstop even though Jordy Mercer has picked things up lately.

That’s a couple of starts a week and Hurdle will also likely use him to get Walker a day off at second and his outfielders days off when needed.

So even though he doesn’t really have a position right now, as long as Harrison stays hot he likely will receive at least four starts per week.

That should be enough to consider picking him up, especially since he offers a ton of versatility on terms of where you can fit him in your lineup.

If you need a short term fix at any position, I recommend taking a stab at Harrison as it doesn’t look like he is going to cool down anytime soon.

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