Pittsburgh Pirates: Josh Harrison named to All-Star team

The Midsummer Classic is supposed to be for players having all-star years, but that is not always the case. Pittsburgh Pirates utility man Josh Harrison deserves to represent his team despite not being the typical everyday player.

Harrison is having a surprising season for the Pirates and earned his first all-star bid on Sunday. Anyone who questions the decision to have a super-utility player on the National League roster hasn’t been watching Pittsburgh much this year.

Pittsburgh found themselves struggling to stay afloat in a tough NL Central when they called upon the play any position, do anything Harrison. They were grasping at straws both offensively and defensively.

Then on May 3 Clint Hurdle started him in right field and batted Harrison in the leadoff spot. Fans were expecting a disaster but his fighter attitude fueled the Pirates turn around.

The Cincinnati native has been the backbone of the Pirates roster. He sparked a struggling offense, but it isn’t just his bat that earned him All-Star privileges. J-Hay does it in the field and from any position.

With Arizona leading the Pirates, 2-0, in the ninth inning last week at PNC Park, the Diamondbacks’ Gerardo Parra challenged the arm of right fielder Josh Harrison after Ender Inciarte’s single. He wasn’t going to stand for it. He handled the ball and threw the perfect throw to Russell Martin.

That wasn’t the first time Harrison’s defense saved the day. He has had diving catches, beautiful throws and just the grit fans love.

It is hard to not be rooting for J-Hay. With substance abuse, greed, and all the bad in baseball, it is easy to root for the good guy with a feel good story.

People have been waiting for Harrison to fall, but he just keeps proving everyone wrong with his “I got this” mentality.

Now he has all-star credentials to show for his hard work.

Andrew McCutchen and Tony Watson will be representing the Buccos alongside Harrison.

  • BuccosOnARoll

    J-Hay’s been playing smart, hard-working baseball at every position this mixed-up Pirates ball club has needed him. And despite solid offensive numbers and the ability to seemingly make a magnificent play wherever you put him, the best part of this All-Star run has been watching the guy on the field. He’s short and fast, and unlike some of the other big-time athletes that get picked for the All-Star team, you can see exactly how hard he hustles. For a baseball fan who grew up rooting for the guys that have to do a little bit of everything to have a shot at a starting spot, nothing makes me happier than seeing J-Hay getting the chance to play in the mid-summer classic. And we might not know exactly what the situation will be, but if Mike Matheny needs a play made at the right time, he knows there’s a guy on the bench who’s ready to make it happen.