Drew Silva breaks down the season that rookie Michael Harris II is having for the Atlanta Braves and makes his case for why he is proving that he can be yet another young building block for them.
- In yet another crafty move to keep their young core intact for the long haul, the Braves signed Michael Harris II to an eight-year $72 million contract extension on August 16. The deal also carries a $15 million club option for the 2031 season and a $20 million option for 2032. If both of those options are exercised, it will work out as a 10-year $102 million contract.
There is a case to be made that the extension is overly team-friendly, especially if Harris proves to be as good as what he's shown so far as a rookie. Through his first 76 Major League games, the 21-year-old center fielder is batting 283 with an 813 OPS, 12 homeruns, 41 RBI's, 15 stolen bases, and 49 runs scored. That has a 162 game pace of 26 homers and 32 steals.
Harris currently ranks second among all rookie outfielders and fangraphs version of wins above replacement, behind only AL rookie of the year frontrunner, Julio Rodriguez. Also enlightening is that the braves were 22 and 24 on the season when they promoted Harris directly from the AA level. They've since gone 53 and 24. What another terrific long term building block for the defending World Series champs.