Joshua Isaiah "Josh" Harrison (born July 8, 1987) is an American professional baseball second baseman with the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB). Harrison has also played third base and outfield for the Pirates.
Harrison began playing tee ball at the age of three years. Before playing in organized baseball, Harrison displayed interest in the game. Using a fork from his homes kitchen as a bat and a balled-up piece of paper, Harrison played makeshift baseball with his older brother, Vince, who pitched the paper to him.
Harrison played shortstop at Princeton High School (Sharonville, Ohio) in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Prior to his professional career, Harrison played second base while attending the University of Cincinnati. In 2008, he was the Big East Conference's Co-Player of the Year. Harrison was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 6th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft becoming the first Bearcat drafted in the first ten rounds since Kevin Youkilis was taken in the eighth round of the 2001 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox.
He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 6th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft. On July 30, 2009, the Cubs traded Harrison, along with Kevin Hart, and José Ascanio to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitchers John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny.
Harrison had his contract purchased by the Pirates on May 30, 2011. Harrison made his major league debut on May 31, 2011, and recorded his first Major League hit, off New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey. On May 18, 2012, he broke up Justin Verlander's no-hitter in the ninth inning, which would have been the third no-hitter of Verlander's career.
Harrison was optioned to the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians on April 14, 2013. He was recalled on May 7 when James McDonald was placed on the disabled list. Harrison was optioned back to Indianapolis on May 8 when Duke Welker was recalled. Harrison was optioned back to Indianapolis on May 31.
On July 6, 2014, Harrison was selected to his first career All-Star Game, along with teammates Andrew McCutchen and Tony Watson. At the time of his selection, Harrison was hitting .298 through 72 games. Harrison also had played 5 different positions throughout the season, and was listed as a utility player for the All-Star Game.
Despite his role as a utility player throughout the 2014 season, Harrison played in 143 games and stood at bat enough times to qualify for the NL batting title. Finishing the season with a .315 batting average, Josh came in second to Justin Morneau of the Colorado Rockies. Morneau won the title with a .319 average after sitting out the team's final two games, one of which lasted twelve innings.
Since then, Harrison has played multiple positions for the Pirates. He spends most of his time at third base following Pedro Álverez's move to 1st Base. Harrison finished 2014 with the best statistics of his career with a .315 batting average (second in the NL), 13 home runs, 52 runs batted in, and finished ninth in voting for NL MVP.
Harrison began the 2015 season as the starting third baseman for the Pirates, agreeing to a four-year contract extension through 2018, with club options for 2019 and 2020, shortly after the season's start.
Following the 2015 season, the Pirates' regular starting Second baseman, Neil Walker, was traded to the New York Mets. Josh Harrison is slated to begin the 2016 season starting at second base.
Harrison is the nephew of former Major League outfielder and current Milwaukee Brewers coach John Shelby. Harrison's brother, Vince Harrison, played minor league baseball from 2001-2011, before joining the Pirates organization as a player-coach.
Beginning in 2014, Harrison started a youth baseball camp for kids and teens in Cincinnati. Harrison's brother Vince also sponsors and helps with the event.