Image of J Hay
Nickname:   J Hay Position:   2B-3B-OF
Home: N/A Team:   PIRATES
Height: 5' 8" Bats:   R
Weight: 180 Throws:   R
DOB: 7/8/1987 Agent: Millenium Sports
Uniform #: 5  
Birth City: Cincinnati, OH
Draft: Cubs #6 - 2008 - Out of Univ. of Cincinnati (OH)
2008 NWL BOISE   33 114 27 40 11 2 1 25 12 6 23 12   .509 .351
2008 MWL PEORIA   31 122 15 32 4 1 1 4 6 2 3 11   .336 .262
2009 CAR LYNCHBURG   34 141 15 38 8 1 1 13 4 1 1 19 .289 .362 .270
2009 MWL PEORIA   79 303 51 102 17 7 4 33 16 9 16 25 .377 .479 .337
2009 FSL DAYTONA   18 70 10 20 3 1 1 9 10 1 6 7 .351 .400 .286
2010 EL ALTOONA   135 520 74 155 32 3 4 74 19 7 32 52 .343 .394 .298
2011 IL INDIANAPOLIS   62 226 35 70 15 2 5 23 13 5 15 28 .365 .460 .310
2011 NL PIRATES   65 195 21 53 13 2 1 16 4 1 3 24 .281 .374 .272
2012 NL PIRATES $484.00 104 249 34 58 9 5 3 16 7 3 10 37 .279 .345 .233
2013 NL PIRATES $503.00 60 88 10 22 1 2 3 14 2 0 2 10 .290 .409 .250
2013 IL INDIANAPOLIS   64 268 50 85 29 5 4 34 19 7 20 39 .373 .507 .317
2014 NL PIRATES $513.00 143 520 77 164 38 7 13 52 18 7 22 81 .347 .490 .315
2015 NL PIRATES $2,800.00 114 418 57 120 29 1 4 28 10 8 19 71 .327 .390 .287
2015 IL INDIANAPOLIS   5 19 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .100 .053 .053
2016 NL PIRATES $5,250.00 131 487 57 138 25 7 4 59 19 4 18 76 .311 .388 .283
2017 NL PIRATES $7,750.00 128 486 66 132 26 2 16 47 12 4 28 90 .339 .432 .272
  • Harrison's uncle is John (T-Bone) Shelby, former Major League outfielder for the Dodgers and Orioles.

  • In 2001, Josh's brother, Vince, was drafted by Tampa Bay in the 13th round. He got as high as Double-A Montgomery before playing in the independent Northern League. Vince Harrison played minor league baseball from 2001-2011, before joining the Pirates organization as a player-coach.

  • Harrison was named co-Big East Conference player of the year after hitting .378 with 22 steals.

  • After coming to the Pirates organization midway through the 2009 season, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Josh as the 29th-best prospect in the Pirates' farm system in the spring of 2010. He was at #30 in the winter before 2011 spring training.

  • Harrison was assigned to play for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League after the 2010 season ended. And he hit .330.

  • Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, before Josh's big league debut at the end of May 2011, described Harrison as a person of strong character from a "great family background." "He's a great kid with a lot of energy," Hurdle said. "He's the kind of guy who can move the ball around, hits it hard where it's pitched. He can bunt and hit-and-run. He's a ballplayer."

  • Walk-Up Music: Harrison uses music made by his brother, Shaun Harrison.

  •  July 11, 2014:  As waves of reporters passed in front of his locker, Harrison couldn't stop smiling. It was the contented smile of a young man who, theoretically, left the Queen City of Cincinnati years ago to cut his baseball teeth and came home as a National League All-Star in 2014 in Minnesota.

    "It's always nice to come back home," said Harrison, who obviously makes frequent stops in the rival NL Central city. "But now, it's been amazing. I've had to clear my phone several times since last night, so many people were calling and texting me.

    "Everybody's leaving the message, 'Hey, I'm coming to the game to see you. Look for me in the stands.'"

    Harrison again started in absent Starling Marte's place in left field and batted second, meaning an early opportunity to take in the warm welcome he figured to be accorded by the hometown Great American Ball Park. (Tom Singer, 7/11/2014)

  • Josh's family has had to deal with a bit of a conflict of interest. After being born and raised in Cincinnati, their son has found his niche in the Major Leagues, with the Pittsburgh Pirates. So when the Reds and Pirates square off, a fairly frequent occurrence as NL Central rivals, Harrison's family and friends have a choice to make.

    "It's not as bad as you would think," Harrison said. "I know Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, the cities, just from football and everything, had a little rivalry. But you know going back, it's a lot of proud people. They might be Reds fans, but when we come in town they at least throw on the Pirates hat. So it's pretty cool to go back to Cincinnati playing for the Pirates and still have the support.

    "My immediate family roots for the Pirates," he said. "They're all Pirates. But people I went to high school with, you know, that grew up Reds fans—they'll still be Reds fans. But when we play them, they're like, 'Well, if we got to lose to anybody …' They don't mind, just because I'm associated with the Pirates. It's kind of a win-win for me because I'm kind of converting some people to maybe being Pirates fans." (Zahneis - - 7/15/14)

  • In 2014, Harrison was named the Bucs' winner of the Heart & Hustle Award, presented since 2005 by the MLB Players Alumni Association to the player on each of the 30 clubs who "demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit, and tradition of the game." (7/22/14)

  • The Pirates value Harrison because he can play almost every position. What they couldn't have known is that he would become one of their most valuable players during the 2014 season. When manager Clint Hurdle began giving Harrison chances to play, he took advantage of them, starting games at five different positions. He was named to the National League All-Star team. (Justice - - 8/25/14)

  • 2014 Season: Harrison was grateful for the recognition that came his way, from all corners. It began in June, when his manager, Clint Hurdle, recognized his virtues and turned him into a third baseman.

    In July, a rival manager, St. Louis's Mike Matheny, turned him into a National League All-Star. Then, in November, fellow and former players bestowed upon him the Major League Baseball Players Association's national Heart & Hustle Award, which annually goes to someone who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit, and traditions of the game.

  • Harrison's daughter Mia was born to Josh's wife Brittney on Feb. 11, 2014.

  • In the spring of 2015, Corey Hart, forefather of the beard movement, says Josh will have the Pirates' best beard. 

    Before baseball beards began spanning the globe, spreading across the faces of big league players like a fuzzy, invasive plant, Corey Hart was sprouting one. As a forefather of the movement, possessing what he calls "one of the first beards in the game," he knows he belongs on the "Mount Rushmore of beards ... next to Abe Lincoln up there."

    Because of his historical role in the game, Hart is the best person to judge which Pirates' player will have the better beard at the end of the year: Pedro Alvaraz or Josh Harrison? 

    While Alvarez might have the edge, he sees Harrison taking the award. Said the right fielder "It may take [Harrison] a while to grow, I don't know if he's got the fast grow. But I think Pedro may cut it before the season's over with." (Michael Clair - - March 20, 2015)

  • Josh looks for opportunities to get on base, score, do anything to win a game.

    "Harrison does things that you see for the first time quite often. Today, I thought the pitcher had a play, then the pitcher doesn't have a play, and Josh was dusting off at second base," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's the kind of game he plays. He's a backyard ballplayer.

    "Whenever he takes the field, he's looking to make something happen. He was ready to make a play out of the batter's box." (Berry - - 3/13/16)

  • In 2017, Josh was chosen to represent the USA in the World Baseball Classic.

  • May 12, 2017: If Josh Harrison isn't my favorite Major League Baseball player, he's either 1b or 1c, and I say this for several reasons. He's full of energy during every Pirates game. For verification, watch him in the middle of a "pickle." He's durable, since he barely flinched after getting plunked by pitches earlier this season on four consecutive at-bats.

    Harrison is the consummate clubhouse leader, and here's all you need to know about that: You ask him a question, and he'll give you his straightforward answer. He's also efficient at the plate, especially this 2017 season. 

    The more I think about it, I'm a charter member of Harrison's fan club, mostly because of this -- second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right field. Those are all of the positions he has played for the Pirates during his seven seasons in the Major Leagues, and I didn't even mention that he once took the mound to help the team in a pinch.

    "I definitely like it this way, man," Harrison said, always accommodating, referring to the splendid truth, which is that his solid frame of 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds is ready to move without hesitation on defense for Pirates manager Clint Hurdle during a given season, month, week, game or even inning. "You know, I was blessed and fortunate to be able to have an impact by being able to play all of these different positions."

    "Bouncing around is fun, but at the end of the day, I like it a lot better just focusing on one position, so you're getting some consistency," Harrison said. "It's not that I don't like playing the other positions. When I first came up [in 2011 to the Major Leagues], I primarily played third base, but then I started to play everywhere else in a kind of 'get in where you fit in' role. Anybody would want to play one position every day, but I don't mind switching.

    "I see, and I love it. In case you're wondering, Harrison has one glove for all of his infield positions, and one for either left or right. He does have backup gloves for both of his main ones "just in case the webbing breaks or something, but when it comes to gloves, I'm comfortable with what I got," Harrison said.

    "The only position that would require me to use a different glove than the ones I have would be first base. That is, if I'm ever asked to play that position. "Stay tuned. Chances are, Harrison at first for the Pirates is coming, and who's to say he couldn't catch or play center. Which makes you wonder: Why did coaches during his youth and managers throughout his professional career decide he had the physical and mental skills to become an everyman on defense? "Uh, to tell you the truth, I don't know why it started," Harrison said.

    "I guess we were short in other areas for the teams I've played for through the years, and I'm probably the one that they felt was the best equipped to play a new position during those times. So that always helped me to play right away, like when I went to college. Everybody's coming from high school, where they were the starting shortstop or the starting center fielder. When you get to college, you've got to be able to contribute, and since I played different positions, it helped me to be able to contribute every night." (T Moore - - May 12, 2017)

  • Harrison says his favorite TV show growing up was "Martin". (Intentional Talk-Sept.2017)


  • June 2008: Josh signed with the Cubs for a bonus of $144,500 after they chose him in the 6th round, out of the Univerisity of Cincinnati.

  • July 30, 2009: The Pirates sent lefthanded pitchers John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny to the Cubs; acquiring Harrison, righthander Kevin Hart, and RHP Jose Ascanio.

  • April 9, 2015: Harrison and the Pirates agreed on a four-year contract worth $27.3 million. His new deal includes a pair of club options that reportedly will bring the total to $48.3 million if they're both exercised.

  • Harrison is a bit of an enigma. It can be tempting for scouts to write him off because his tools are just not that good. He is too small to hit for power, too impatient to draw a lot of walks, too slow to play the little man's game, and too limited to play shortstop on a regular basis. But all Josh does is hit, hit, hit.

  • Harrison has good bat speed. He handles the ball well and uses the entire field. He hits the ball where it is pitched. You rarely see him get fooled.

  • Josh is a good table-sitter, trying to get on base for the guys hitting behind him. He does have surprising power for doubles for such a little guy. And he makes contact so seemingly easily that he doesn't draw many walks. But he also rarely strikes out.

  • He uses a simple, repeatable righthanded stroke to consistently hit line-drives. He has a balanced approach and makes good adjustments from at-bat to at-bat.
  • Every good baseball team has its role players that contribute in different facets of the game, and the Pirates hope one of theirs, Josh Harrison, has turned an offensive corner.

    "An area that he's shown improvement in is lack of chase," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Because Josh, his on-base percentage hasn't been what it needs to be for him to be an everyday player."

    Josh is a player who features what Hurdle called "usable speed." But chasing pitches has been a problem, and Hurdle said there's a visible difference now. Harrison is taking pitches, squaring up more balls and working counts.  Although it's not by much, he is posting marks better than his career average in several categories of plate discipline—swing percentage, swing percentage on pitches outside the strike zone, and number of swinging strikes.

    "He needed to take it upon himself because the league knows him," Hurdle said. "Why do they throw balls out of the strike zone? Because he used to swing at them."

    Versatility is key for any utility player, and Harrison is happy to contribute however he can. "If that's me playing multiple positions, getting squeezes down, that's what I'm going to do."

  • April 16-17, 2017: Harrison was hit by a pitch in four consecutive plate appearances. That's right, Harrison came to the plate four times and was rewarded with a trip to first base. Perhaps even stranger: They're all basically to the same place. 

    It's a feat that hadn't been accomplished since at least 1974. In fact, according to Elias, only two players in the past 80 years had even two consecutive games with two HBPs: Jon Jay in 2014 and Craig Biggio in 2000.

  • As of the start of the 2018 season, Josh's career Major League stats were: .281 batting average, 44 homers and 687 hits with 232 RBI in 2,443 at-bats.
  • Josh has become a decent second baseman. He has only fringe-average range and hands.
  • Harrison also plays third base and left field. He can play almost anywhere on the diamond, which makes him very valuable.

    "I think it is pretty unique to play quite a few different positions," Harrison said. "I never know where they're going to use me."

  • As of 2017, during his time with the Pirates, Harrison has played second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right field. 
  • Josh has very good speed on the bases. And he is an aggressive runner. 
  • Catching Josh in a rundown is easier said than done, as he proved on July 27, 2014. After making the Mets look foolish one month before, Harrison again found himself in a sticky situation against the Rockies.

    Harrison snuck in at second on a steal attempt, dodging Josh Rutledge's tag attempt before sliding past the base. But with the Rockies shortstop now blocking his path back to the bag, Harrison could only think "here we go again."

    "As I got off [the base] I was like, it's easier for me to just try to make something happen as opposed to trying to reach back to second," Harrison said. "And something happened."

    Harrison began with a jog before kicking it up a notch on Rutledge's throw to Nolan Arenado. The Rockies seemed to have Harrison corralled but never closed the gap as Harrison was the only one involved in the play who had the slightest clue to what was happening.

    "There was never really a sense of urgency," Harrison said. "I think they all were kind of looking around like, 'What happened?'" And after a few lobs back and forth, Harrison saw his opportunity and took it.

    Just as Wilin Rosario was receiving the ball, Harrison busted out a double move, shaking Rosario out of his shoes (metaphorically) and then onto his back (literally). "My best chance was to try get a guy who was carrying an extra 15-20 pounds of gear," Harrison said. "The move ended up working out." (Ulm - - 7/27/14)

Career Injury Report
  • April 28-May 7, 2011: Harrison was on the D.L.
  • July 5, 2011: Josh underwent an evaluation to determine whether he suffered a concussion in a collision at the plate in the second inning of the July 4 game against the Astros. He was attempting  to score from second on a single by Alex Presley, and collided with Astros catcher Carlos Corporan. He suffered a bloody nose and left the field holding a compress to his face.

    He had made the third out, though, and returned to the field for the top of the third. In that inning, he made two errors—the first, when he failed to field a ball hit by Hunter Pence, and the second, when he threw wide of first on a grounder by Matt Downs. Josh came to the plate in the bottom of the third and flied out to right field to end the inning, which is when he felt dizzy and left the game.

    Harrison left the game because of dizziness in the third inning. He was tested with the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) system.

    "He did get dizzy in that inning, and he made the right move by letting people know and getting out," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

  • July 6-August 21, 2015: Harrison was placed on the D.L. after jammed his left thumb while stealing a base in a win over the Indians. He underwent surgery on the thumb.

  • September 12-Nov 4, 2016: The Pirates will be without their leadoff-hitting second baseman the rest of the season, as Josh Harrison was diagnosed with a right groin strain. 

  • Sept 3-Nov 6, 2017: Josh was on the DL with fractured left hand.