Michael Harris II gave us the blueprint on why he will be one of baseball’s best outfielders for years to come as he won the National League Rookie of the Month award in his first full month as a Big Leaguer.
Michael Harris II is currently the youngest player in Major League Baseball but showed he brings a grown man’s game to the ballpark over the first month of his career.
"That's some big-time pop."
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 30, 2022
The Braves’ top prospect entering the 2022 season won the National League Rookie of the Month award for his play during the month of June, posting a .347 average with four home runs, 16 RBI, four steals, seven doubles, two triples and a slugging percentage of .574.
“I feel like as soon as he came up here, he kind of changed the whole complexion of our team,” said Braves pitcher Kyle Wright on Harris’ impact on last season’s World Series Champions.
Michael Harris might have just saved this game. pic.twitter.com/lSXNCPBYAo
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) June 27, 2022
Harris II became the Braves’ everyday center fielder when he was called up to the Majors on May 28, and since that day he has arguably been the best outfield defender in the game.
His filling Atlanta’s void in center has not only given fans a glimpse of an outfield that will have Harris II standing next to All-Star Ronald Acuna Jr. for years to come.
Acuna, who tore his ACL last season, can rely on Harris to cover extra ground while he continues to work to get his feet back under him.
Harris II won a Minor League Gold Glove last season, and now it looks like he is on the fast track to earning one at the Major League level.
“It is definitely something I would want,” said Harris when asked about winning a Gold Glove. “It would be better to have a Platinum Glove though.”
In the words of Braves third base coach Ron Washington, “You play to win the game,” and since he got to the Majors that is all Harris II has helped the Braves do.
He is tied for first among National League rookies in WAR and since being added to the main roster his Braves have gone from over 10 games back of their division rival Mets to now 2.5 entering Sunday.
At the plate Harris II is having one of the best starts to a career for any rookie in Braves history.
Bryson Stott tries to block the base, but Michael Harris forces his hand onto it causing the second baseman to fall down. pic.twitter.com/DHJJjvOveI
— Baseball GIFs (@gifs_baseball) June 30, 2022
His .327 average was the highest through a player’s first 31 games by a Braves hitter since 2011, he was the first rookie to homer in back-to-back games for the team since 2019 and his eight-game hitting streak was the longest for a Braves rookie since 2018.
I know teams are developing scouting reports on Harris II with each passing day, but if he can sustain his level of play through this season the Braves will essentially gain another All-Star in what is already one of the most stacked lineups in the Majors.
This season Harris is batting .308 with 18 RBI, 21 runs, four home runs, four steals and an .841 OPS.
He and his Braves are set for a four-game series to start their week beginning with a Fourth of July matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.