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.