Braves’ Harris II says Rookie of Year season was ‘decent’
NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — Bad news for the rest of the National League: The reigning Rookie of the Year doesn’t sound all that satisfied with his debut season.
Atlanta’s Michael Harris II, whose callup last year propelled the Braves to 101 wins and a division title, said Saturday he “had an all right season, I guess,” and then responded with more modesty when asked if that’s really how he feels about 2022.
“Some things I had to work on, but it was decent. I’ll try to do better,” Harris said. “Kind of like to hold myself to a higher standard.”
There’s no telling how good the 21-year-old center fielder can become. Harris hit .297 with 19 home runs, 64 RBIs and 20 stolen bases after jumping from Double-A to the majors. Atlanta was below .500 when Harris made his debut May 28. Shortly thereafter, the Braves went on a 14-game winning streak.
Harris and Atlanta teammate Spencer Strider finished 1-2 in the Rookie of the Year vote.
“It means a lot. I know you can only win it once,” Harris said. “I guess that made it mean so much more.”
Harris starts a $72 million, eight-year deal in 2023 that could be worth $102 million over 10 seasons. He’s from DeKalb, Georgia, and the contract means he could be playing in Atlanta for a while.
“Me being a fan of the Braves growing up, and being able to put on that jersey and play in Atlanta for a team I grew up rooting for, I guess it just gave me that extra push,” Harris said. “Having my family and friends here to support me too, that also helped.”
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