Taking a look at Michael Harris II’s struggles

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Everyone knows that Michael Harris II is a fantastic ballplayer. However, he hasn’t been the same player that won the NL Rookie of the Year since returning from the IL on April 28th. While Harris still provides massive value with his glove, something is going on with his swing. In 19 games since being re-activated, he has just nine hits in 63 at bats, with four RBIs and one multi-hit game.

Taking a look at Harris’s Baseball Savant page, it provides a bit of context. While his barrel rate is similar to his 2022 ROTY campaign, there are some discrepancies. Despite a lower strikeout rate and higher walk rate, the sweet spot % is way down, with a .063 batting average against off-speed stuff.

It seems that after seeing a whole season of Harris, some tendencies may have been picked up by opponents and are now being exploited. It is up to Harris to make the adjustments. Michael is oddly enough hitting much better on the road, batting .207 away from Truist, and just .071 in Atlanta.

The 2022 Rookie of the Year is now 0 for his last 22, with his last hit coming on May 15th against the Texas Rangers. While we have not seen this kind of slump from Harris before, there’s little doubt he will eventually come around and produce at a similar rate that we saw a year ago. People forget that this is a guy that came straight to the majors from AA and completely leapfrogged Gwinnett.

Harris is taking the lumps that most guys take in AAA. He will figure it out. In the meantime, he will get some days off to regroup, like tonight against the Dodgers. With his defensive ability and speed, he will still be useful while figuring things out at the dish.

Until then, I advise Braves fans to be patient with Money Mike. These are normal adjustments for a young player playing in the majors. This is a guy that has had success in all aspects of the game at every level, and by the end of the season, I expect him to once again be a critical contributor, both offensively and defensively.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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