Michael Harris II wins National League Rookie of the Year award

Michael Harris II wins National League Rookie of the Year award

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

It has long been seen as a two-horse race, with the pair of Atlanta players breaking away from the pack. Harris, a 2019 third-round pick, has emerged as one of the game’s hottest prospects with a 2021 breakthrough in High-A. He started this year in Double-A but quickly proved too advanced for the level, tearing up opposing pitchers in 43 games. The Braves made the bold move to skip him entirely on Triple-A, installing him as their go-to center back after calling him up to the big leagues in late May.

Harris stepped in excellently for the defending World Series winners. The left-handed hitter posted a .297/.339/.514 line in his first 441 appearances on the major league board. He didn’t walk many, but Harris hit nearly .300 while connecting on 19 homers and sweeping 20 bases. He also played excellent defense in the center field, with defensive points saved putting him eight points above average with the glove. Statcast rated him six points above par, and the 21-year-old now looks like one of the most promising two-way players in the game.

Strider, meanwhile, looks like one of the best young arms in the sport. Recruited in the fourth round in 2020, he immediately outclassed this rather modest selection. The right-hander won a brief big league audition late last season and started this year in the MLB bullpen. By mid-May, he had moved into the rotation, and his excellent combination of fastball and sliding continued to confuse big league hitters. The 24-year-old combined for 131 2/3 ERA 2.67 2/3 innings between the bullpen and starting staff, knocking out an incredible 38.3% of opponents along the way.

A top-two spot on the rookie of the year ballot now takes on meaning beyond its mere prestige value, thanks to the provisions of the new collective agreement. The CBA contained measures designed to thwart service time manipulation through the so-called “prospect promotion inducement.” The top two rookies of the year who were top 100 prospects on at least two preseason lists at Baseball America, ESPN and MLB Pipeline are automatically credited with a full year of service.

Harris meets all three criteria and will thus earn a full year of service, although he signed an eight-year contract extension mid-season that nullifies any chance he will go through arbitration and push his way back to the fold. free agency. The full-service year will be a small move in Harris’ eventual push for 10 years in the majors and his associated pension and possible non-trade benefits. Strider earned a full year of service playing over 172 days on the MLB roster, although he also later signed an extension.

The second element of the PPI will not come into play in the National League. A player who meets the aforementioned prospect criteria, entered the year with less than 60 days of service, and spent enough time on the MLB roster to earn a full year of service regardless of the awards ending would yield to his team a bonus draft pick with a top-two finish. Harris qualified for the prospecting criteria but was not on the MLB roster long enough for a full year of service without the award bonus. Strider racked up the service time element but did not appear in a preseason Top 100 on any of MLB Pipeline, BA or ESPN. Unlike the Mariners, who received an additional selection based on by Julio Rodriguez AL ROY wins, the Braves Won’t do accumulate a bonus pick.

Harris took 22 of the top 30 spots, with Strider taking the other eight votes. Harris and Strider were 1-2 in some order on 29 of 30 ballots, with the Reds closer Alexis Diaz win the other second place vote. Donovan earned a third-place finish with a .281/.394/.379 showing over 468 plate appearances in utility for St. Louis; he won 22 votes for third place. arizona outfielder Jake McCarthyCincinnati entrance Nick Lodolo and Pittsburgh shortstop Oneil Cross joined Díaz in picking up misguided support.

Full vote breakdown available here.

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