Braves’ Harris edges teammate Strider for NL Rookie Of The Year
By: Mike Stiles - Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Michael Harris II (photo courtesy of Atlanta Braves)

(ATLANTA) – The Atlanta Braves believed Michael Harris II had the ability to at least hold his own in the majors after impressing the front office and coaching staff in spring training in both 2021 and '22. At the minimum, they knew he was the best defensive center fielder in the organization, and with Braves center fielders hitting a collective .186 through May 27 and the team under .500, they decided to roll the dice. The Braves called up the 21 year old from Double-A even though he had played just 43 games above Class A. Harris rewarded the Braves' belief with one of the best rookie seasons in franchise history, hitting .297/.339/.515 with 19 home runs and 20 stolen bases while playing outstanding defense. With the season he had, Harris beat out teammate Spencer Strider to win National League Rookie of the Year honors on Monday, collecting 22 first-place votes and 134 points to Strider's eight first-place votes and 103 points. St. Louis Cardinals utility player Brendan Donovan finished third in the voting. Harris and Strider are just the fourth pair of teammates to finish 1-2 in the voting since ranked balloting began in 1980, joining the Braves' Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman in 2011; the Cubs' Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith in 1989 and the Mariners' Alvin Davis and Mark Langston in 1984. Harris is the ninth player in Braves franchise history to win rookie of the year honors. In mid-August, the Braves rewarded Harris with an eight-year contract extension worth $72 million that runs through 2030, with two club option seasons that could make it worth $102 million over 10 years.