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Atlanta Braves’ Center Fielder Michael Harris II Wins National League Rookie Of The Year Award

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Atlanta Braves Center Fielder Michael Harris II Wins National League Rookie Of The Year Award

Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Harris II has won the National League Rookie of the Year award, the Baseball Writers Association of America declared. He was followed by colleague Spencer Strider and Cardinals infielder Brendan Donovan in second and third place, respectively.

This has for some time been seen as a two-horse race, with the pair of Atlanta players separating themselves from the pack. Michael Harris II, a third-round pick in 2019, arose as one of the game’s additional interesting prospects with a breakout 2021 appearance in High-A. He started for the current year in Double-A however immediately demonstrated excessively advanced for the level, destroying restricting pitchers through 43 games. The Braves went with the strong decision to skip him over Triple-A completely, installing him as the regular center fielder after calling him to the major leagues in late May.

Michael Harris II stepped in superbly for the defending World Series winners. The left-handed hitter posted a .297/.339/.514 line through his first 441 big league plate appearances. He didn’t draw many walks, however, Harris hit almost .300 while associating on 19 home runs and swiping 20 bases. He additionally played excellent center field defense, with Defensive Runs Saved pegging him as eight runs better than expected with the glove. Statcast estimated he was six runs better than average, and the 21-year-old currently seems as though quite possibly of the most encouraging two-way position players in the game.

Strider, in the meantime, seems as though one of the game’s top young arms. A fourth-round draftee in 2020, he quickly beat that genuinely modest selection. The right-hander procured a brief big league audition late last season and started for the current year in the MLB bullpen. By mid-May, he’d been moved to the rotation, and his fantastic fastball-slider combination kept on befuddling big-league hitters. The 24-year-old joined for 131 2/3 innings of 2.67 ERA ball between the bullpen and the beginning staff, striking out a mind-boggling 38.3% of rivals en route.

A top-two completion in Rookie of the Year balloting takes on importance beyond its simple notoriety value currently, because of provisions in the new aggregate bargaining agreement. The CBA contained measures intended to counteract service time manipulation through the so-called “prospect promotion incentive.” Top-two Rookie of the Year finishers who were Top 100 prospects on something like two preseason lists at Baseball America, ESPN, and MLB Pipeline are automatically credited with a full-service year.

Michael Harris II meets each of the three rules and will in this way procure a full-service year, even though he inked an eight-year contract extension midseason that nullifies any opportunity he’ll ever continue through arbitration and pushed back his way to free agency. The full-service year will have a little move in Harris’ inevitable push for 10 years in the majors and its related benefits and conceivable no-trade benefits. Strider procured a full-service year by playing 172 or more days on the MLB roster notwithstanding, even though he likewise later signed an extension.

The second element of the PPI won’t become possibly the most important factor in the National League. A player who meets the previously mentioned prospect standards entered the year with under 60 days of service and spent enough time on the MLB roster to procure a full-service year independent of the awards finish would net their team a bonus draft choice with a top-two finish. Michael Harris II qualified for the prospect criteria however was not on the MLB roster long enough for a full-service year without the award bonus. Strider gathered the service time element however didn’t show up on a preseason Top 100 at any of MLB Pipeline, BA, or ESPN. Unlike the Mariners, who got an additional selection given Julio Rodríguez’s AL ROY win, the Braves won’t gather a bonus pick.

Michael Harris II got 22 of 30 first-place nods, with Strider gathering the other eight votes. Harris and Strider were 1-2 in some order on 29 of 30 ballots, with Reds closer Alexis Díaz acquiring the other second-place vote. Donovan procured a third-place finish with a .281/.394/.379 appearances over 468 plate appearances in a utility capacity for St. Louis; he got 22 third-place votes. Arizona outfielder Jake McCarthy, Cincinnati starter Scratch Lodolo and Pittsburgh shortstop Oneil Cruz joined Díaz in getting stray help.

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