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NL Rookie of the Year: Michael Harris II wins honors over Braves teammate Spencer Strider

NL Rookie of the Year: Michael Harris II wins honors over Braves teammate Spencer Strider


The winner of the 2022 Jackie Robinson National League Rookie of the Year is Michael Harris of the Atlanta Braves. MLB made the announcement Monday night, with Harris’ teammate, pitcher Spencer Strider, finishing second, and Cardinals utility man Brendan Donovan finishing third. 

Here are the full results from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA):

  1. Michael Harris II, Braves (22 first-place votes)
  2. Spencer Strider, Braves (eight first-place votes)
  3. Brendan Donovan, Cardinals
  4. Jake McCarthy, Diamondbacks
  5. Alexis Diaz, Reds
  6. Nick Lodolo, Reds
  7. Oneil Cruz, Pirates

Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez won Rookie of the Year honors in the American League.

Harris, 21, started the season in Double-A, having spent 2021 in High-A. He was drafted in the third round out of high school in 2019 and — given the cancelled 2020 minor-league season — making the majors in 2022 was a longshot. Still, the Braves needed outfield help in late May and decided that he’d handled himself well enough in Double-A to give him a shot. There wasn’t really much question his defense would make an immediate impact and having a plus defender in center was their main concern in calling him up. 

He did play great defense in center, in fact, was one of the best defensive center fielders in the league. He also hit really well, pretty much from the get-go. He singled and scored in his debut on May 28. He collected his first RBI on May 31, first double on June 1 and first multi-hit game on June 2. In his 114 games, Harris hit .297/.339/.514 (135 OPS+) with 27 doubles, three triples, 19 homers, 64 RBI, 75 runs, 20 stolen bases, 5.3 Baseball-Reference WAR (bWAR) and 4.8 Fangraphs WAR (fWAR). 

It wasn’t just the stats. The Braves hit a new level with Harris holding down center and contributing with the bat. They were 79-35 in games he started compared to 22-26 when he didn’t. That wasn’t all him, but he was a big part of the turn. 

Harris joins Earl Williams (1971), Bob Horner (1978), David Justice (1990), Rafael Furcal (2000), Craig Kimbrel (2011) and Ronald Acuña Jr. (2018) as Braves players who have won Rookie of the Year. 

Strider, 24, started the season in the Braves’ bullpen, but ended up being a major impact starter. In 31 appearances (20 starts), he worked 131 2/3 innings. He compiled a 2.67 ERA (152 ERA+), 1.83 FIP, 0.995 WHIP, 202 strikeouts against 44 unintentional walks, 3.7 bWAR and 4.9…

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