Braves: 2022 NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II honored by his hometown

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Coming off a Rookie of the Year campaign, Michael Harris is doing more than building a home in center field at Truist Park. The Braves phenom has been crowned the king of Henry County.

A Stockbridge native, Harris turned in one of the most spectacular seasons I have ever seen from a first-year player. Not only did he skip Triple-A altogether, but he also completely turned his hometown team around when he arrived.

Before his promotion, the Braves were barely keeping their heads above water. Then, the Michael Harris show arrived, and the club took off. At the time of his debut, the Braves boasted a 22-24 record; they’d go on to win 101 games. Multiple players attributed the team’s turnaround to his emergence.

It’s not a hot take to say that he was the Braves’ best player across the 2022 campaign. People often throw around the term ‘five-tool’ athlete, but it actually rings true with Michael Harris. He can hit for contact and power, is a menace on the bases, and is reminiscent of Andruw Jones — the greatest defensive center fielder of all time — in the field.

Harris slashed .297/.339/.514 with 19 long balls, good for an .853 OPS and 135 OPS+ across 114 games. He drove in 64 runs while swiping 20 bags, nearly reaching the impressive 20/20 mark for home runs and steals. Harris is a legitimate threat to win the MVP award one day, given his well-rounded skillset and likability.

Some day, we could be talking about a Michael Harris Day in all of Georgia and not just Henry County; that’s how impressive the young man is.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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