This continues my series where I predict the 2023 stats of each Braves player, moving on to Michael Harris II. If you missed any of the previous editions, follow the links below.
Michael Harris II 2023 Stat Predictions
Michael Harris was a superstar for the Braves last season, winning the NL Rookie of the Year award. In just 114 games, he racked up 4.8 fWAR, hitting nearly .300 with 19 homers and 20 stolen bags to go along with his stellar defense in centerfield.
The hype surrounding Harris II to begin last season in AA was palpable, but nobody could have expected him to perform so splendidly at the major-league level that quickly. Had he started the year in Atlanta, he would have been in the running with the top candidates for the NL MVP, not just the Rookie of the Year award. That’s the level he was playing at.
Like most people, I kept waiting for Harris to hit a bump in the road and come back to earth. We see it all too often with rookies that are making the transition to the majors, but Harris only got better as the season progressed. Matt Olson called him the most talented young player he’s ever played with. Olson and Dansby Swanson also attributed the team’s turnaround last year to Harris’ arrival in Atlanta. Everything seemed to click at that moment, and I don’t think it’s an absurd thing to say Harris is the best player on a ridiculously talented Braves team.
In an article I recently wrote where I gave three bold predictions for the Braves over the next three years, I predicted Harris would take home an NL MVP award in one of the next three seasons. I don’t expect any type of sophomore slump. He should only get better as he gains more experience. The 22-year-old Harris is a superstar. People in Atlanta are already well aware, but nationally, others will start to realize just how talented he is as he completes his first full major-league season.
Michael Harris’ 2023 Stat Predictions: .287/.335/.490, .825 OPS, 27 home runs, 75 RBIs, 6.0 fWAR
Photographer: Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire