The Atlanta Braves‘ elite farm system was on display this season.
When they needed an impact outfielder, they called up rookie Michael Harris II hoping that the fact he had just 196 plate appearances in Double-A and completely skipped Triple-A wouldn’t lead him to fail at the highest level.
Instead of failing and being the most recent rookie rushed to the major leagues, Harris worked.
He worked on his game, he refined his approach, and he had to adjust to seeing faster, better pitches.
The curveballs, changeups, and splitters he saw in Double-A don’t even compare to what he saw in the majors, and the pitchers’ command was also on another level.
He overcame all this, however, and put together an impressive debut campaign with the Braves.
It was so good that he earned an early offseason award.
“Baseball Digest has named @MoneyyyMikeee their 2022 Baseball Digest/eBay NL Rookie of the Year!,” the Braves tweeted.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 8, 2022
Harris Is In The Running For The NL Rookie Of The Year Award
It represents nice recognition to all the work Harris and the organization performed this year.
Harris is actually in contention to win the official National League Rookie of the Year award.
Harris slashed .297/.339/.514 with 19 home runs, 20 stolen bases, and a 136 wRC+ (100 is considered league-average performance, so he was comfortably above that threshold).
He accumulated in incredible 4.8 Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, which is considered star-level.
We can’t stress enough how impressive the fact he did all this by skipping Triple-A and at 21 years old is.
The Braves have an offensive and defensive star for years to come.