Josh Harrison
Josh Harrison
33-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Washington Nationals
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Admit it. You were checking box scores the evening of Aug. 4 and saw "HR: Harrison (1)" and had no idea who that hitter was in the Washington lineup. I mean, that could not possibly be the same Josh Harrison that hit .175 for Detroit in 2019 before being DFA'd. Yet, there he was, and by season's end, he hit .278/.352/.418 as a niche player and even earned a guaranteed, albeit low-salaried, 2021 contract with the Nationals. Harrison is precisely what the Nationals need: a veteran bat who won't complain about a lack of playing time behind their younger and more talented kids. He can man the corner positions much like Howie Kendrick did before him, with the understanding his bat skills will never be what Kendrick's were for the club. He is three seasons removed from fantasy viability unless you are in a deep NL-only situation. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#591
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Nationals in October of 2020.
On bench Wednesday
2BWashington Nationals
May 12, 2021
Harrison is not in the starting lineup Wednesday against the Phillies, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The second baseman has gone hitless with five strikeouts in his last three games. Overall, however, Harrison has been a valuable offensive contributor for the Nationals, hitting .278 with three homers and 12 RBI through 24 games. Veteran Jordy Mercer gets the start at second base.
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Batting Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
8
1
4
1
3
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
3
1
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+19%
OPS vs LHP
2021
 
 
+9%
OPS vs LHP
2020
 
 
+19%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+5%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019vs Left .731 81 7 4 11 1 .250 .284 .447
Since 2019vs Right .612 254 23 3 23 5 .225 .295 .317
2021vs Left .839 19 3 1 3 1 .294 .368 .471
2021vs Right .772 83 9 2 9 0 .274 .361 .411
2020vs Left .830 38 2 2 7 0 .286 .316 .514
2020vs Right .696 48 6 1 7 1 .268 .354 .341
2019vs Left .500 24 2 1 1 0 .167 .167 .333
2019vs Right .475 123 8 0 7 4 .177 .228 .248
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2019
 
 
+10%
OPS on Road
2021
 
 
+13%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+41%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+6%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2019Home .616 185 17 3 14 4 .224 .281 .335
Since 2019Away .675 150 13 4 20 2 .241 .307 .368
2021Home .831 53 7 1 3 1 .304 .396 .435
2021Away .736 49 5 2 9 0 .250 .327 .409
2020Home .647 48 4 1 8 1 .267 .292 .356
2020Away .911 38 4 2 6 0 .290 .395 .516
2019Home .468 84 6 1 3 2 .152 .202 .266
2019Away .497 63 4 0 5 2 .207 .238 .259
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Stat Review
How does Josh Harrison compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.62
 
BB Rate
7.8%
 
K Rate
12.7%
 
BABIP
.297
 
ISO
.144
 
AVG
.278
 
OBP
.363
 
SLG
.422
 
OPS
.785
 
wOBA
.351
 
Exit Velocity
79.2 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
22.1%
 
Barrels/PA
3.2%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Josh Harrison
Week 6 FAAB Recap
Week 6 FAAB Recap
10 days ago
10 days ago
Shane McClanahan was the big prize free agent in a number of leagues this week.
FanDuel MLB: Tuesday Targets
23 days ago
Chris Bennett checks out Tuesday's slate as Vladimir Guerrero looks to keep raking in a clash with the Red Sox.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
25 days ago
Jan Levine analyzes the latest crop of available players with a look towards Harrison Bader's eventual return.
MLB Barometer: Risers & Fallers
45 days ago
This week, Erik Halterman's list mostly includes players who have won or lost roster spots or fantasy-relevant roles, like Jordan Romano, whose stock received a big boost with the injury to Kirby Yates.
Spring Training Job Battles: Final Update
47 days ago
Erik Halterman takes a final look at this spring's job battles and examines the fallout from the Nationals' demotion of Carter Kieboom.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
A highly prominent player just a few short years ago, Harrison is barely still on the radar heading into 2020. He played in 97 games in his final year with Pittsburgh and only 36 last season before being unceremoniously dumped by Detroit. Harrison went down in late May with a partial tear of his left hamstring, underwent surgery, suffered a setback and never got going at Triple-A. While his K% has held steady around 18% over the past couple seasons, he just hasn't driven the ball with authority, and really, he never did. Even from 2016-18, Harrison ranked in the bottom 10% in exit velo and hard-hit rate. He's never walked (career 4.0 BB%) and his sprint speed is pretty much middle of the pack nowadays (27.2 ft/sec). Perhaps with better health and on a team that gives him the green light to run, Harrison could return to mixed-league relevance, but he won't be assured of anything heading into spring training.
A two-time All-Star, Harrison turned in what amounted to replacement-level value over 97 games in 2018, resulting in the Pirates declining his $10.5 million option early in the offseason. He was hampered by injuries throughout most of the campaign; first it was a broken hand that knocked Harrison out for more than a month and he then dealt with hamstring issues throughout the second half. The hand injury seemed to sap Harrison's power as he lost close to 70 points from his slugging percentage and almost 50 points from his ISO, and the hamstring problems kept him from running hardly at all, though he wasn't running much before that injury popped up either. Now 31, Harrison has seen his bat-to-ball skills take a hit over the past two seasons, with his K-rate jumping to a career-high 18.2%. There was never much upside here and now the floor has been reduced significantly, leaving Harrison as a fringe MI option in mixed leagues.
Harrison has held a consistent role in Pittsburgh over the three years since his 2014 breakout, but 2017 marked the first time he produced at that level again. Although his batting average dropped for the third straight season (.272), Harrison delivered 16 homers and 12 steals, moving between second and third base enough to qualify at both positions in 2018. The home-run spike is founded on a career-high 10.0 percent HR/FB, paired with the highest flyball rate he's posted since 2013. As splits go, Harrison is good enough against righties to see near everyday playing time against them (.745 OPS) when you factor in his defensive value, but he does more damage against lefties (.857 OPS). A similar role is expected in 2018, and another uptick in value in the form of more runs scored may be in store if he returns to one of the top two spots in the batting order. While a 20-homer season isn't out of the question, expecting a combo of 10-15 homers and 10-15 steals is more prudent.
It's pretty well established that 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 followed up his 2014 All-Star campaign with an uneven roller coaster ride in 2015. Slowed by a chronic ankle injury in spring training, he got off to a dreadful start, hitting .173/.209/.282 in his first 117 plate appearances. Perhaps he was pressing after signing a $27.3 million deal in the offseason. From that point on, Harrison hit .328/.369/.429 in his final 332 plate appearances, though a torn thumb ligament in early July forced him to miss six weeks. With Aramis Ramirez retired, Neil Walker traded to the Mets, and Jung-Ho Kang recovering from a serious knee injury, manager Clint Hurdle figures to write Harrison’s name in the lineup nearly everyday in 2016. The odds are against the Cincinnati native hitting 13 homers again in spacious PNC Park, but a batting average in the .280-plus range with double-digits steals isn’t out of the question.
The opportunistic Harrison turned several years of utility play into a full-time gig at third base in 2014 and never looked back. Despite struggling to crack the Opening Day roster, the multi-positional 27-year-old settled into Pedro Alvarez's prior spot at the hot corner and produced a .315/.347/.490 line with 38 doubles, 13 homers and 18 steals in 550 plate appearances. He enters 2015 with a leg up on the competition at third base, but it's possible he could move around the infield/outfield due to injuries or a return to form by Alvarez. General manager Neal Huntington confirmed Harrison as his third baseman, but with only one season as a starter, there are still a number of skeptics. He's not the safest pick, but he offers more defensive versatility than nearly any other starter in the major leagues.
The versatile Harrison saw his time in the big leagues shrink in 2013. The 26-year-old infielder/outfielder totaled only 88 at-bats in the majors, after batting 249 times in 2012. The addition of Jordy Mercer into the mix took away some of Harrison's backup playing time, and there's no guarantee he gets any of it back in 2014. Harrison hit .317 with an .880 OPS at Triple-A but compiled a .250 batting average, three homers, and 14 RBI for the Bucs. On the positive side, he hit .350 with a .981 OPS in 40 at-bats against lefties. While Harrison might not have enough of a role to merit consideration on draft day, he has the ability to go on short spurts that can help owners as an in-season, waiver-wire pickup.
If only every major leaguer played with the passion and reckless abandon Harrison exhibits, baseball would be the better for it. From a fantasy perspective, however, he's little more than a waiver-wire option. Harrison hit .233/.279/.345 in 249 at-bats last year after batting a punchless .272 as a rookie. As a right-handed batter, PNC Park's dimensions don't play well for whatever power he does have. He'll qualify in many leagues at both second base (28 games) and shortstop (25), but there's simply not enough oomph in his bat for fantasy owners.
Harrison's lack of fear served him well in 2011. The Pirates recalled him with little fanfare at the beginning of June and he responded with an impressive 88 percent contact rate, a number in stark contrast to Pedro Alvarez's 66 percent. From a fantasy perspective, the infielder offers little more than a decent batting average -- he has a career .306 minor league mark and hit .272 with Pittsburgh (in 195 at-bats). He lacks power and is blocked by Neil Walker at second base, making Harrison little more than a bat off the bench. The Pirates figure to use him in a reserve role with an opportunity to fill in due to injury.
More Fantasy News
Provides spark in win
2BWashington Nationals
May 7, 2021
Harrison went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, two runs and a walk in Friday's 11-4 win over the Yankees.
ANALYSIS
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Plates two runs
2BWashington Nationals
May 7, 2021
Harrison went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored in Thursday's loss against Atlanta.
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Swats second homer
2BWashington Nationals
April 29, 2021
Harrison went 1-for-4 with a three-run home run and a second run scored in Wednesday's 8-2 win over the Blue Jays.
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Shakes off back injury
2BWashington Nationals
April 18, 2021
Harrison (back) will start at second base and bat fifth Sunday against the Diamondbacks.
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Dealing with back stiffness
2BWashington Nationals
Back
April 17, 2021
Harrison is out of Saturday's lineup against Arizona due to back stiffness, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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