If you have spent any time watching the Atlanta Braves this season you have probably seen two of the favorites for NL Rookie of the Year in action.
These two have seemingly come out of nowhere and are now amongst the best rookies in all of baseball.
Neither player started the season on the Braves’ Opening Day roster.
But, they have both made an immediate impact on the reigning World Series champs.
The Braves have done an incredible job of developing homegrown talent.
Now let us take a look at the two newest Braves who are looking to add their first award to their mantle.
Strider Vs. Harris
Strider is 7-4 this season with 94.2 innings pitched and 142 strikeouts.
The righty has four games with at least 11 strikeouts and has a strikeout to walk ratio of 4:1.
Spencer Strider reminded everyone that he's the best rookie pitcher in baseball ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/ApV6zfgkOt
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) August 16, 2022
His 2.5 WAR leads all rookie starting pitchers despite being on a clear innings limit.
The Braves do not want to force the issue with their 23-year-old starter so his innings limit could hinder his chances at the ROY award.
As long as he can make the rest of his starts he should be the favorite to win the award.
But, Harris is closing in.
The Braves center fielder was the team’s second-ranked prospect in 2021 and he is showing why he was so highly regarded.
Harris is batting .288 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI.
He also has 14 stolen bases and an OPS of .827.
His 2.9 WAR leads all NL rookie hitters and he has solidified his spot in center field.
Defensive wins championships and Harris plays defense at a high level.
According to Fangraphs, Harris is second on the Braves in defensive runs saved with five.
Harris punishes right-handed pitchers.
He is batting .298 with 11 of his 12 home runs coming against righties.
Michael Harris II clobbers a go-ahead home run! pic.twitter.com/FNovT14FCE
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 13, 2022
The Braves are so high on Harris as a player that they even signed him to a long-term extension before his rookie season even ended.
Atlanta agreed to an eight-year contract worth $72 million with the 21-year-old.
This is nothing new to the Braves who have always been willing to pay their players in the early parts of their careers.
They did the same thing with Acuna, Ozzie Albies, and Riley.
The Braves see something special in Harris and he will be a key cog in their lineup for years to come.
Both Strider and Harris have won Rookie of the Month awards.
Harris won the award in June and Strider in July.
It is fair to say that whoever has the best August and September will be the NL Rookie of the Year.
The last starting pitcher to win the NL ROY was Jacob deGrom in 2014.
This award has been dominated by position players of late, except for reliever Devin Williams in 2020.
It will be fun to see these teammates try and out-duel each other in the final month-and-a-half.
While the Braves get to sit back and watch two future stars help lead them back to the playoffs.