The Braves will be well represented on MLB Network’s Top 100 players list. Sean Murphy was the first member of the team to be announced; Spencer Strider followed him, making his debut on the list, and Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II is the next member of the club to appear as the no. 53 ranked player.
Michael Harris II can be credited for the Braves’ resurgence last season due to one of the most spectacular first years I have ever seen. Skipping AAA altogether, Harris joined a major league club that boasted a 22-24 record at the time. Atlanta would go on to win 101 games, and several members of the organizations attributed the turnaround to his emergence.
The Stockbridge native was arguably the team’s best player. He can hit for contact to keep the line moving but also blast home runs. Harris is dangerous on the base paths and is reminiscent of Andruw Jones — the greatest defensive center fielder of all time — in the field. There’s no area he doesn’t excel.
Harris is a legitimate threat to win the MVP award one day, given his well-rounded skillset and likability. Across 114 games, he slashed .297/.339/.514 with 19 long balls, good for an .853 OPS. He drove in 64 runs while swiping 20 bags.
The craziest thing about Michael Harris II is his body. Turning 22 years old soon, his body is still maturing. And by the looks of his physique from Spring Training, Harris is already filling out, looking noticeably bigger. Not only will he develop physically, but his mental capacity will also grow with experience. The sky truly is the limit for a player oozing as much talent as Michael Harris II, and I fully expect him to rise up the MLB top 100 rankings considerably next season.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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