Mad Money Mike

Mad Money Mike

Michael Harris II bounced back nicely from a recent ten game slump, going 3-3, including an RBI single to center field that drove in Austin Riley, to extend the Braves lead in the 4th inning. He also ran down and snagged a screaming drive to deep center field in the bottom of the seventh inning, preventing a sure extra base hit off the bat of J.D. Martinez to help temporarily hold on to a no-hit bid. The Braves would go on to lose the no-hitter in the ninth inning, but ultimately won the game 4-1.

The Braves center fielder was overdue for a breakthrough game at the plate. Coming into Saturday’s game against The Mets, Harris II was batting a paltry 0.28, with just one hit in his last 36 at-bats. Unsurprisingly, the Braves played mediocre baseball, going (5-5) during this time frame.

Like most quality hitters enduring a prolonged hitting slide, the numbers suggested Mike was pressing a bit, as his chase rate had noticeably increased this season to 44.9%, a career high. Or was it simply just bad luck? Harris has walked just two times during his hitting funk, and has been putting the ball in play, making a lot of solid contact in his plate appearances. His hard hit rate is just slightly down from last season, 48.5% to 46.4%.


Michael Harris II Is The Five-Tool Diamond-Igniter For Lethal Atlanta Braves Squad

Last season, Money Mike, slotted mainly between the middle and lower half of the order, saved his best for the nine hole, where he became the most feared nine hitter in baseball. He hit .293 with 18 bro bombs, and 57 RBIs in 2023.

The ‘24 season started off promising for Harris II, as he was leading the team or near the team lead for hits, triples, home runs, total bases, batting average, slugging percentage and WAR during the first 21 games of the season, in which ATL held a 17-7 record. We at MLBbro believe Money Mike to be the backbone of this Atlanta Braves offense.

The Philadelphia Phillies are the hottest team in baseball right now, leading the league in wins with 28 while sweeping teams left and right courtesy of their solid pitching and impressive, offensive production. When you take a look inside the numbers, it’s not hard to figure out why; they rank top three in almost every major hitting and pitching statistical category.

Yet, in spite of all of that, the Atlanta Braves are sitting just 2.5 games out of first place, continuing to stay dangerous in the NL East, a division they’ve maintained a chokehold on over the past six seasons. If the Braves plan to keep pace with the red hot Phillies, and eventually supplant them atop the division, they’re going to need more performances from Michael Harris II, like the one they got yesterday against the Mets.