On Monday night, Atlanta Braves outfielder Michael Harris II was named the National League Rookie of the Year, beating teammate Spencer Strider and St. Louis Cardinals utility player Brendan Donovan in the voting.
The winner was likely going to be in Atlanta, since Harris and Strider were seen as the favorites.
The position player ended up taking home the award after a brilliant season at just 21 years old.
After a good year in High-A in 2021, Harris opened the season at Double-A.
Just 43 games there were enough to convince the Braves that he could skip Triple-A and make the jump to the majors without being exposed.
He hit .305/.372/.506 in those 43 Double-A games, so he showed he has the complete package: he can hit for a high average, he has some power, he has speed, and his defense is excellent.
Part of the recent Braves success with rookies (Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Mike Soroka, Austin Riley, Vaughn Grissom, and Harris, just to name a few examples) stems from the fact they trust their abilities.
They are confident they can succeed no matter age or experience: otherwise, they wouldn’t be in the majors.
Each and every one of those names have succeeded as rookies.
A Brilliant Season From Harris
Harris, in 114 games and 441 plate appearances, hit .305/.372/.506 with 19 home runs, 20 stolen bases, and a 136 wRC+.
wRC+ allows us to compare a player with the league-average offensive performance (which is 100): higher is better, so Harris’ 136 wRC+ means he produced 36 percent more than his peers.
He is the seventh Brave to win the ROY.
Atlanta's ROY list gets longer 🗒️ pic.twitter.com/hWIWkGXw11
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) November 15, 2022
Two of those seven have come in the last four seasons: Acuna in 2018 and now Harris.
Those two will patrol the Braves’ outfield for years to come.
Atlanta sure knows how to produce them.