As we lead up to the start of baseball season, I'll be putting together write-ups of players that are particularly interesting to me. My initial focus will be players who's ADP varies greatly from my rankings. I'll be providing details dissecting the disparity and reinforcing my argument for or against that players ADP. Now, without further adieu...
Josh Harrison fits into the exact mold of a mid round player that gets often overlooked. He doesn't have a ton of power nor is he going to contend for the league lead in steals. He does however do a bit of everything well.
In 2014 he played nearly a full season compiling 520 AB's. His slash line was very good and looked like this:
While none of these numbers are elite, they would have compiled a high overall value for any roto team.
In 2015 however, he missed a number of games to repair a torn thumb ligament and only totaled 418 AB's. His slash line for 2015 looked like this:
Runs and steals were close to on pace, however power and average was down. While, some of that could have been regression, I tend to think Harrison was battling through the thumb injury before finally having surgery in July. Then, also struggled once he came back from the surgery to regain his full swing.
Thumb injuries have been well documented to be difficult to recover from quickly. In 2011, Baseball Prospectus wrote a nice article here detailing the impact a thumb injury can have on a player. I feel this accounted for a lot of the drop in both his contact and power for Harrison. Here are some advanced stats showing the breakdown drops in production from 2014 to 2015:
When you start to look at this comparison as a whole, something caused the regression. To me, it doesn't make sense that a 27 year old coming into his prime would fall off the table this dramatically. Having an entire off season to recover from the thumb injury should prime Harrison for a bounce back campaign. he may not necessarily reach the levels he did in 2014, but I expect him to come close.
Right now, Harrison's current ADP is in the mid-200's. I feel i was a bit conservative with my projections for him this upcoming season and even conservative, i have him as a top 150 overall player. I think the upside could be a 10 HR, 20 SB, .300 AVG hitter that scores a ton of runs atop the PIT lineup. He is absolutely someone I will be targeting as a value for my teams this season.