The Braves’ Michael Harris II Named National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year

Harris becomes ninth Braves player to win the award

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves congratulate OF Michael Harris II on winning the 2022 National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year award. Harris II became the ninth Brave to garner the honor, which has been awarded nationally since 1947.

Atlanta Braves outfielder Michael Harris II adjusts his helmet as he takes batting practice ahead of Game 1 of baseball’s National League Division Series, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Harris II, 21, is Atlanta’s first honoree since Ronald Acuña Jr. in 2018. The left-handed batter finished his first major league season hitting .297 (123-for-414) with 19 home runs, an .853 OPS and 20 steals in 114 games. He accumulated 4.8 fWAR, the second-most in franchise history by a Braves rookie hitter behind Rico Carty (4.9 fWAR, 1964).

The 6-foot-0, 195-pound native of DeKalb, Georgia, paced NL rookies with 64 RBI, 75 runs and 27 doubles while tying for first with 19 home runs. Additionally, among NL rookies with at least 300 plate appearances, he ranked first in batting average (.297), slugging percentage (.514) and OPS (.853).

Harris II entered 2022 as the No. 65 overall prospect according to MLB.com and began the season with Double-A Mississippi. The club selected his contract from Mississippi on May 28 and he made his MLB debut that afternoon versus Miami at the age of 21 years, 82 days old. He became the youngest player to debut for the Braves since Huascar Ynoa did so at the age of 20 years, 19 days on June 16, 2019 and the youngest position player since Acuña Jr. (20 years, 128 days) in 2018. He singled in his debut against Sandy Alcántara for his first career hit, before hitting his first homer on June 13 off Washington’s Kyle Finnegan.

Atlanta Braves’ Michael Harris II (23) connects for an RBI single during the sixth inning in Game 3 of baseball’s National League Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Harris II, who made all his starts and appearances in centerfield, registered a .992 fielding percentage across 1,021.0 innings and 257 chances. Among National League outfielders with at least 1,000 innings in the field, his fielding percentage ranked 10th. Additionally, his seven outs above average tied for eighth among MLB centerfielders.

Along with Acuña Jr., the other seven Braves to win the Rookie of the Year award are RHP Craig Kimbrel (2011), SS Rafael Furcal (2000), OF David Justice (1990), 3B Bob Horner (1978), C Earl Williams (1971), OF Sam Jethroe (1950) and SS Alvin Dark (1948).

Harris II is the first player to win Rookie of the Year for a team in his birth state since 2004, when Lakewood, Calif., native Bobby Crosby won the award for Oakland. The last NL player to do it was Steve Sax, born in Sacramento, Calif., who won for the Dodgers in 1982.

Ballots from two writers in each league city are tabulated prior to postseason play on a system that rewards five points for first place, three points for second place and one point for third place.

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