The other day, CttP’s Timmy Kennedy took a look at the Pittsburgh Pirates and their outlook for making the postseason. Within his piece, he noted some of the contributions of super-utilityman Josh Harrison.
Sometimes we see “MVP” and we get caught up in strictly the numbers. Some might even consider how a player’s tam fared during the season. But there are other factors that in the grans scheme of thins often get overlooked. Harrison has been a prime example of the term “valuable”.
After last night’s game (a game where Harrison drove in the winning run), Harrison upped his slashline to .308/.342/.504 with a wRC+ of 138 and OPS+ of 137. Those that bear the label “utilityman” (his position on Baseball Reference is lasted as UT) rarely sport such offensive numbers. Sure, the offense has been more than a find for Pittsburgh, but let’s not forget the entire package Harrison has provided the Pirates this season.
So Neil Walker misses some time. Insert Josh Harrison. Need help at a corner outfield position. Insert Josh Harrison. Pedro Alvarez has struggled at the plate and in the field. No worries, insert Josh Harrision.
And having Harrison playing all of these positions had not hindered his defensive contributions either…
Adrian Beltre, defensive runs saved, 3B – eight in 976 1/3 innings. Josh Harrison, DRS, 3B – seven in 301 1/3 innings. #Pirates
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 30, 2014
Wow. Comparing to Adrian Beltre is pretty stout.
Among all NL 3B that have played at least those 300 innings, Harrison ranks in a tie for 5th along with now New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley. And Headley logged well more than 600 innings (647 to be exact) to arrive at his DRS of 7.
And to see even more than value of Harrison’s defense at third, Alvarez has played at the position for a total of 823.1 innings. Alvarez’s DRS: -5. A difference of 12.
Here’s how Harrison has fared defensively at each of the five positions he has played this season:
2B: 103.0 Inn., 2 DRS
3B: 301.1 Inn., 7 DRS
SS: 40.2 Inn., -1 DRS
LF: 180.2 Inn., 1 DRS
RF: 181.2 Inn., 3 DRS
Total DRS for JHay: 12.
Personally, Harrison could not have picked a better year in which to display his talents and contributions. You see, next season will be the first time he is eligible for salary arbitration.
And we all know what that means.