Phillies Bring in Josh Harrison for Second Run

The Philadelphia Phillies continue to tweak its roster for 2023, as infielder Josh Harrison is set to join the team yet again. Harrison is set to join the Phillies on a one-year, $2 million dollar. The deal stands as another stop in a lengthy career for the two-time All-Star, as well as depth for a Phillies team that currently boasts a couple of young and inexperienced players at second.

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A Look at Harrison

It’s been a whirlwind of a career for veteran infielder Josh Harrison, who is set to play for his sixth MLB team in 2023. Harrison has proven to be a versatile player in his career, thanks to his ability to play multiple positions while also provide solid, yet unspectacular offensive numbers. Primarily a second baseman in 2022, Harrison hit .256/.317/.370 with seven home runs and 28 extra base hits in 119 games with the White Sox.

Harrison has never been a power hitter in his career — the former White Sox has only cracked the double digit marker in home runs twice. Harrison does possess solid bat-to-ball skills, hence the .272 career batting average he’s recorded thus far.. What’s interesting, however, is that the 35-year-old actually posted the two highest Hard Hit% rates of his career in 2021 and 2022. But, it didn’t result in a change in his power numbers.

Philadelphia’s defense did improve over time in 2022, but Harrison’s skills with the glove should be welcome. The two-time All-Star possesses a career Outs Above Average of +15, including a +3 from last season.

What it Means

This will be the second time that Harrison will be joining the Phillies. The veteran utilityman signed with Philadelphia back in December 2019, but was cut just prior to the start of the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

The 35-year-old should fit in nicely in a swiss-army like role for the Phillies, as he’s proven to be able to play multiple positions. Just last season, Harrison played primarily at second and third, but did also see time in left field and short.

With Nick Maton no longer in the organization, the Phillies targeting an infielder that can slot in at different positions and provide some offensive punch when needed made sense. Prior to the signing of Harrison, Philly’s backup options for the infield included Edmundo Sosa and Dalton Guthrie. Sosa’s proven to be a very solid defender, but has not done much with the twig in his career thus far. Guthrie, meanwhile, did impress late last season. After slashing .302/.363/.476 in Lehigh Valley (AAA) in 2022, Guthrie went 7/21 with one home run and five RBIs in a cup of coffee.

Despite that solid, yet brief appearance from the Florida product, a solid veteran like Harrison should fit in nicely. The former All-Star with the Pirates should get a good amount of playing time, and could also be a nice option to get regular time should Bryson Stott struggle in his second full season in the Majors.

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