LOS ANGELES – Michael Harris II looks like he will be one special talent.
He was drafted in the third round by the Braves in the 2019 draft, and spent three years in their farm system. He was tearing it up in the beginning of this year’s AA minor league season with the Mississippi Braves, posting a .305/.372/.506 statline, earning him an instant promotion to the majors on May 28th.
So far, his time in Atlanta has been successful, with a .310 batting average, with 18 home runs, 57 RBI, 16 stolen bases, an on-base percentage of .350, and a slugging percentage of .551.
While his offense has been off the charts, the main reason Atlanta brought him up so soon is because of how stellar he is with the glove in the outfield. He is a human highlight reel.
The sensational catches, the incredible arm, and the electric speed that he has to cover so much ground makes him the scarce five-tool player.
On an already stacked lineup with players like Ronald Acuña, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Matt Olson, etc., it would have been easy for him to just take a backseat within the star studded clubhouse, but Harris has other ideas. He has made himself a league-wide name, getting recognition of his terrific play since day one.
So far, he has the best odds to win NL Rookie of the Year, with his fellow teammate Spencer Strider not too far behind. Either way, it is a lock that the award is returning to Atlanta.
Besides all the on-field tools that he brings, Harris has an electric swag to his game that makes him all that much better. He has such a smooth swing, and carries himself with such a cool swagger when he does simple things like running the bases, or the big, flashy chain he wears with his uniform. He just has that “it” factor. All that will remind you of one Hall of Famer in particular: Ken Griffey Jr.
The Braves see the special player that Harris is, as they locked him down to a long term extension less than three months after his debut. He agreed to an 8-year, $72 million contract on August 17th. They were already the defending champs, and now they get to keep another stud for a long time. The rich keep getting richer.
The Braves’ stellar young core that will keep them playing in October for years to come. They have done an incredible job of not just drafting and developing talent, but also locking that young talent down for several years to keep the core together.
With less than 20 games to go in the regular season, the Braves will be dancing this October, as they will be one of the favorites. They have the chance to be the first team in over 20 years to repeat as champions, with the 1999-2000 Yankees being the last team to do so. If they do end up achieving that milestone, expect Harris to be a key reason for any success they have this postseason, and for the next several years.