Dodgers manager Dave Roberts admits what the Braves already know about Michael Harris II

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Despite dropping two games to the Dodgers over the weekend, the Braves are still one of the best teams in the National League. They boast the fourth-best record in the NL and currently sit 5.0 games back of the division-leading Mets. Atlanta finished the week 4-3 against two potential playoff teams in San Fran and LA. That’ll play every time, even if last night’s loss put a bit of a damper on things.

Every facet of the team is coming together. The Braves’ offense features power up and down the lineup. Their pitching ranks among the league’s best, and the defense has quickly followed after hampering the team at the beginning of the season. The biggest reason for the improvement in the field is the emergence of the youngest player in the MLB — Michael Harris II. And it didn’t take long for Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts to realize it.

Roberts is dead on with this one. The plays he’s been making in the field are reminiscent of one of, if not the best defensive center fielder of all time in Andruw Jones.

Moreover, Harris’ 1.7 Def ranks fourth among the Braves. If you don’t know what Def means, here is a rundown from FanGraphs:

Def is simply fielding runs above average (Ultimate Zone Rating at FanGraphs) and the positional adjustment added together and tells you about a player’s total defensive value relative to league average. It is a cumulative stat, so it is based on the quality and quantity of your performance.

As they mention, it is a cumulative statistic, and given the small number of innings Harris has played, it’s that much more impressive. However, he’s also a difference-maker at the plate. Harris is slashing .330/.355/.524 with an OPS of .879, three home runs, 14 RBIs, seven doubles, and three stolen bases. His 1.3 fWAR also ranks fifth on the team.

This kid is the real deal, and if Harris keeps this up, he should have an excellent chance at winning the NL Rookie of the Year award. Dave Roberts is just confirming what Braves Country already knows.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire


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