It's pretty well established that Josh Harrison's 2014 campaign was the outlier. He hit 13 homers that year but has gone deep only 15 times (combined) in his five other seasons. In 2016, Harrison started 122 games at second base, more than double his highest previous total (57 games). At the beginning of August, he was batting .266/.297/.375 primarily as a sixth or seventh hitter when Pittsburgh slotted him into the leadoff spot. In his final 33 games, Harrison hit .326/.345/.420 before suffering a season-ending groin injury. He's too much of a free swinger to profile as an ideal leadoff man, but he may be Pittsburgh's best choice once again in 2017. Harrison swiped a career-high 19 bases (on 23 attempts) and while he's hit .283 or better in each of the last three seasons, his lack of power limits his overall fantasy value.
Harrison raised his slash line to .417/.517/.750 in 29 plate appearances against left-handed pitching in 2017 Wednesday. He's batted leadoff the last two games, a move which always seems to spark him. For his career, Harrison is hitting .310/.345/.454 from the first spot. With Adam Frazier mending on the disabled list, look for the free swinger to continue seeing opportunities atop the lineup while he's hot.
Harrison went 2-for-3 with a walk, a solo home run and a second run scored in Wednesday's 6-5 win over the Cubs. He led off the game with a homer, continuing a hot streak that has seen Harrison hit safely in seven straight starts while piling up a .391/.462/.609 slash line over his last seven games. With the Pirates looking for all the offense they can get right now, expect the super-utility man to remain in a prominent spot in the batting order.
Harrison is playing third base and batting leadoff Tuesday against the Cubs. With Adam Frazier (hamstring) on the DL, Harrison will slide up to the top of the order against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. He's 3-for-8 while batting leadoff this season, and given his success last year at the top of the order (.327 with 18 RBI and seven stolen bases in 162 at-bats), it seems he could be a primary option to lead off against right-handed pitchers while Frazier is sidelined.
Harrison went 2-for-4 with two singles Sunday against the Yankees. He stranded three baserunners. He's seen time at second base (13 games) and third base (six games), but Harrison has yet to become part of Pittsburgh's right-field shuffle. The veteran is batting .291 with two stolen bases in 62 plate appearances, but he has only one double and one homer. He's hit seventh or lower in the batting order in more than half his starts and made errors in his last two. Harrison has the ability to get hot and carry his fantasy weight, but it hasn't happened so far in 2017.
Harrison is not in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Yankees. It appears to be a regular rest day for Harrison, who has caught fire of late to raise his season average to .280. Adam Frazier will take his spot at second base.
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