The Atlanta Braves surprised us all over the weekend when they promoted outfielder Michael Harris II from Double-A directly to the show.
Harris, who we’ve been telling you about on MLBbro.com the past few weeks, got the call up with an opportunity to breathe some life into a World Series defending-champion Braves team that has been sleepwalking through the beginning of the season.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) June 1, 2022
Now there were some Braves fans who questioned bringing up their top prospect so fast, citing the fact that he’s never played Triple-A ball. Now personally, I love when this happens because it gives me an opportunity to tell fans why Triple-A ball isn’t the pinnacle of minor league baseball like so many believe.
Throughout baseball the best talent is cultivated in Double-A ball, and when a five-tool talent like Harris comes through and wrecks everything, skipping Triple-A and heading directly to the bigs doesn’t inhibit their development or long-term success.
Triple-A rosters are normally composed of fringe big leaguers and prospects who have flamed out. When you look at most Triple-A rosters, the biggest stars are guys from the MLB roster who are down on rehab assignments, not the next great star waiting for his break.
Also, Harris has been mentored by OG MLBbro and former Braves outfielder Marquis Grissom throughout his development, and Grissom didn’t hold back when speaking about him to The Athletic in 2021.
“All I can say as a former player is, he’s different,” Grissom explained. “And the last time I saw a player when I said he was different, that was Chipper Jones, that was Barry Bonds, that was Gary Sheffield, that was Jim Thome. All the great players, they’re different. And that’s what Mike Harris is — he’s different.”
Harris is without question the most hyped Atlanta prospect since Ronald Acuna Jr. in 2016, and he was greeted by a sellout crowd at Truist Park for his debut.
“It feels amazing,” Harris said when asked about his debut. “I never thought it would be like this. You can dream what you want it to be, but actually being here on the field with these guys, especially a lot of guys that I grew up watching and rooting for, that was a good feeling.”
The Braves started Harris in centerfield, a place they envision him being for at least the next decade. It didn’t take long for the young MLBbro to show off that top line speed and Gold Glove potential, going all out to rob Marlins Garrett Cooper.
Harris also collected his first hit in his debut, and got his first RBI on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The addition of Harris in centerfield gives the Braves someone to take pressure off of Ronald Acuna Jr. as he returns from a torn ACL. That type of speed kills, and the thought of Harris II and Acuna Jr. on the base paths should put opposing teams on high alert.
“Money” Michael Harris II has arrived.