Travis Demeritte and Michael Harris II Are Home Grown Jewels| Atlanta Braves Are Cultivating A Soul Patrol

Travis Demeritte and Michael Harris II Are Home Grown Jewels| Atlanta Braves Are Cultivating A Soul Patrol

The Atlanta Braves organization boasts one of the best player development staffs in all of baseball, and for decades they have been able to produce some of the best home-grown talent in the game. 

MLBbro Travis Demeritte and future bro Michael Harris II are two prime examples of how developing players in house works in the present while also setting your team up for sustained success.

 

A few weeks ago, I mentioned how Travis Demeritte would be given an opportunity to play every day in the Braves outfield until Eddie Rosario returns. Now when he was first called up, most thought that Travis was simply a placeholder who didn’t have much chance of making an impact. 

After his rough stint in Detroit that saw him demoted and eventually released, how could you blame anyone for this line of thinking? Fortunately for Demeritte, his time in Atlanta has been determined by his play and not any outside perspectives. 

So far, the results have been everything the Braves could want. Although his strikeout rate is currently sitting at 29.9 percent, Demeritte is batting .395 on balls put in play and has been a versatile asset at the plate for the Braves. In his 60 at-bats Travis has collected 18 hits, three homers and five RBI, good for a slash line of .300/.358/.841. 

What’s been even more impressive with Demeritte is what he’s been able to accomplish at home for the Braves. Travis’s slash line jumps even higher at Truist Park, where he is currently posting an impressive .317/.364/.852. Travis has been a welcomed addition to a team that is trying to slowly ease its superstar Ronnie Acuna Jr. back from his torn ACL.

Travis Demeritte Is Back In The Bigs & Granting Wishes To ATL Fans

While Demeritte’s career year has been a welcomed surprise for the Braves, the expectations surrounding their number one prospect are much loftier.

MICHAEL HARRIS II UP NEXT

Harris, the Braves third-round pick out of Stockbridge, Ga, is a five-tool talent who has already started turning heads down in Double-A with an outrageous 30 game on base streak. Through 33 games with the Mississippi Braves, Michael is hitting .289 with four homers, 22 RBI and 10 stolen bases. 

His hot start in Double-A has led to many clamoring for Harris to get the call up, but the Braves front office is being patient with a player they’ve projected to play next to Acuna in the outfield for the next decade. Braves Manager Brian Snitker didn’t mince words when asked about Harris II this spring. 

 

 

“I’m all over Michael Harris,” Snitker said. “I love that kid. It’s hard not to. That’s what they (a star) look like. He just needs more experience.” Mississippi Braves manager Bruce Crabbe took it a step further with the praise.

“He’s such a smooth runner it’s hard to tell how fast he’s really going, but its fast. He hits the ball to all fields with power, and he’s only going to get stronger. He just needs reps. He’s so smart. He just gets it.”

The Braves have a system, and it has been proven effective. Demeritte was acquired from the Rangers and developed as an outfielder and have helped guide him to a career year so far. If all goes to plan, Michael Harris II will be the next great success story.

Travis Demeritte Is Back In The Bigs & Granting Wishes To ATL Fans

Travis Demeritte Is Back In The Bigs & Granting Wishes To ATL Fans

Injuries are an extremely unfortunate part of the game. But for MLBbro Travis Demeritte, injuries can lead to opportunity.

Originally, Demeritte was called up to fill the roster spot left vacant by Austin Riley – away on paternity leave after the birth of his baby boy. But after NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario was placed on the 10-day list with blurred vision and swelling in his right eye, Travis found himself in the starting lineup, Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs.

“It’s been a long road, but I feel great,” Demeritte said. “To be able to put this uniform on and play in front of family and friends in a state I grew up in, it’s almost scripted. It felt almost too good to be true.”

Long road may be an understatement. The 27-year-old Georgia native has been included in multiple transactions since he was taken 30th overall in the 2013 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers. Travis has always shown potential as a power hitter, but high strikeout rates have kept him in the minors the majority of his career.

This is Demeritte’s second stint with the Braves, who originally acquired him from the Rangers in 2016. Despite high power numbers and a conversion from second base to outfield, Travis was traded to the Tigers in 2019.

He hit .198 with three homers and a .554 OPS in 66 games in the bigs before being released.

Now back in Atlanta, Travis didn’t wait long to make the most of his opportunity. With two outs in the top of the fourth, Demeritte sprinted toward the right field foul line, sliding to make a spectacular catch in foul territory. Demeritte wasn’t done, stepping into the box in the bottom of the fifth inning against fellow MLBbro Marcus Stroman, looking to make another statement.

 

Stroman tried to sneak past a first-pitch fastball over the plate. Demeritte was all over it, sending the pitch screaming over the bricks above Truist Park’s right field wall for his first home run of the season. In seven at-bats, Travis has three hits, two runs, one homer and boasts a .429 BA and OBP.

Rosario is expected to miss eight to 12 weeks, so while the return of superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. is looming, Demeritte has gone from short-term rental to long-term placeholder. Braves Manager Brian Snitker made it clear that Travis will be given every opportunity to earn time in the Braves outfield.

 

“When somebody goes down like that, it gives somebody else a chance to do something really good,” Snitker said after Tuesday’s 3-1 victory. “Hopefully, this is Travis’ time.”

His numbers at the plate may regress, but if Travis can continue to make a positive impact defensively, you can easily see him creating a role for himself in the Braves outfield.