The Braves had the two best rookies in the National League this season, and it wasn’t particularly close. Unfortunately, only one of them will be able to take home the Rookie of the Year award. I could see it going either way, but Sporting News is the first publication to come out and name Spencer Strider the NL Rookie of the Year.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 27, 2022
What Michael Harris II did this season was unbelievable, especially considering he skipped the AAA level entirely. He hit just under .300 with an OPS+ of 135, smacking 19 homers with 20 stolen bags, all while playing Gold Glove defense (I’m still pissed he wasn’t a nomination for the Gold Glove in centerfield). In just 114 games, Harris racked up 5.3 WAR. Those are similar numbers to what Julio Rodriguez put up for the Mariners, who will run away with the award in the American League.
Unfortunately, Harris is up against his teammate — a guy who did things we’ve never seen before. Strider was the fastest pitcher ever to record 200 strikeouts, breaking Randy Johnson‘s record. He struck out over a third of the batters he faced and became the first pitcher to ever record 200 strikeouts without giving up 100 hits. This is a guy that could have won the Cy Young award as a rookie had he not begun the season in the bullpen. Harris was unbelievable, but Strider accomplished several feats that had never been done before. For that reason, I believe this is the first of many publications that will acknowledge him as the NL Rookie of the Year.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire