A New Challenge for Harrison

Josh Harrison was promoted to Class High-A Daytona on June 7, one night after surpassing the 100-hit mark of the season at Class-A Peoria and one day shy of his 22nd birthday.

On June 6 against the Beloit Snappers, Harrison was 4-for-5 with three RBI and a pair of stolen bases. His biggest hit of the night came in the bottom of the eighth when he crushed a 2-2 pitch off the right field wall, clearing the bases and giving the Chiefs a five-run cushion.

Harrison enjoyed the moment while he could, but knew there was more work to be done.

"Any time you get [promoted], you're always excited," Harrison said. "Tomorrow I will be able to crack back at it."

Chiefs manager Marty Pevey understands he has a large hole in the lineup to fill where #1 use to be. Harrison led the Midwest League in hits (102), was third in the league in batting average (.337), and shared third place in the league in triples (seven) at the time of his promotion. He also led the team in several categories including average, runs (51) and stolen bases (16).

To be successful at the next level and beyond, Pevey said Harrison must continue his offensive production.

"The motor doesn't run well without Harrison," Pevey stated earlier this season. "If you delete Harrison, the motor just doesn't run quite the same."

"His playing in the big leagues depends on how much he hits. He's got to hit at the next level, the next level, and the next level. His bat will dictate how far he goes, period."

If Harrison's past is any indication, he should be able to continue hitting. The 2008 Big East Player of the Year with the University of Cincinnati, Harrison was named Second Team All-American after batting .378 with five home runs and 54 RBI. He stole 32 bases.

After parlaying that into a sixth-round selection in the draft, Harrison hit .351 with one home run, 12 stolen bases, and 25 RBI in 33 games for Class Low-A Boise last season. He joined the Chiefs on July 25 and was named a Northwest League Post-season All-Star.

Another weapon besides Harrison's bat is the intangible asset of being able to play multiple positions. Harrison has seen time at second base, third base, short stop, and left field.

Playing so many positions does not adversely affect Harrison, and he sees it as a way to help his team and the manager.

"There was one point I would have said I was more comfortable at one spot," Harrison explained. "But now it's like I've played enough at all of them to where I take it as a challenge to come in and play a different spot every day."

"I know it helps [managers] because I am flexible and can move around and get other players in the lineup. I can field a spot if someone needs an off day and be able to help out. If I was one-dimensional, I would have to sit if [the manager] wanted to put someone in my spot that day. I've found that helps the manager out a lot."

Even though Harrison is able to play many positions, Pevey said he believes his best position is left field.

"It's amazing to me to watch him play second base and looking at his arm strength, and then watching him play left field and seeing how much more he's got," Pevey said of Harrison. "He doesn't show a whole lot of arm strength from the infield, but then when he plays the outfield he's got lot of arm strength. It's quite an oddity really."

"He's got great first step quickness, range, and reads the ball well," Pevey added. "His body type is good there, except I'd like to see him hit for a little more power later in his career."

Harrison is just the latest player promoted to Daytona. Fellow Midwest League All-Stars Chris Carpenter and Josh Vitters were called up on June 30.

Harrison broke an 0-for-9 slump with Daytona on Sunday, collecting three hits including a home run. He also doubled and scored twice.

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