The Atlanta Braves started the 2022 season as a shell of themselves compared to their 2021 World Series winning team. With the departure of long-time captain Freddie Freeman to the Los Angeles Dodgers the team knew that they would not come into this year the same as they finished the last one.
After a pedestrian start, with a 10-12 record, in the opening month of April, the team didn’t give fans much to hope for and things seemed bleak. May wasn’t much better, resulting in a 22-24 record heading into May 28. But the difference between the first two months was that in May, the team called up their unsung hero of the season so far, MLBbro Michael Harris II.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) June 1, 2022
Harris entered the 2022 season with much hype at the Double-A level with the Mississippi Braves, but it became evident that his light was too bright for the minors. Harris was initially brought in as a defensive upgrade in the outfield, while All-Star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was still adjusting after an ACL injury that robbed him of most of the 2021 season.
But what the Braves got in return was much more than they could have hoped for from a 21-year-old getting his first taste of big-league experience. He has provided a great spark at the bottom of the Braves lineup. Harris quickly became not only the glue of the team, but the catalyst for their resurgence into not only divisional, but league relevance. Since his call up the Braves are an outstanding 40-15 and look like a virtual lock to enter the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season.
MLBbro Michael Harris II is one of the front runners for the National League Rookie of the Year Award, and rightfully so. His defense has been nothing short of superb since being called up. Batting over .280 with 10 home runs and 12 stolen bases, Harris II has shown that he is capable of hitting for both power and speed.
He has also come up clutch in big moments for the team already and shown much poise in his inaugural season. He even assisted teammate Ronald Acuna Jr. earlier this week, with veteran like awareness when directing him in which direction to slide in extra innings of a hard-fought game against the Boston Red Sox.
His physical tools, baseball acumen, and effect on winning have all been on display and proven this season that he will be a mainstay in the Atlanta lineup for years to come and this first season, he is worthy of being recognized as NL Rookie of the Year.