On team of stars, Michael Harris II shines the brightest

The 2022 NL Rookie of the Year is Just Getting Started

To say that Alex Anthopoulos has an embarrassment of riches with core Braves players under the age of 30 is an understatement. And Michael Harris II, one of the youngest on the team, could end up being the biggest star of them all.

Anthopoulos recognized early that Harris was set for superstardom this season, inking him to an eight-year, $72-million extension after only 70 games in the majors. That sort of commitment showed just how much AA and this front office believe in Michael and his future with this team.

The 21-year-old outfielder captured the 2022 NL Rookie of the Year Award Monday in impressive fashion, receiving 22 of a possible 30 first-place votes. Harris finished the '22 campaign hitting .297 with 19 home runs and 64 RBI. He also stole 15 bases. The Braves went 79-35 after his May 28 major league promotion.

It was what he did with guys on base and in the seventh inning or later in ballgames that made him truly special. Money Mike hit .383 with runners in scoring position, ranking only behind Freddie Freeman and Joc Pederson. And he hit eight of his 19 home runs in the seventh inning or later this season, with an eye opening .354 batting average, and a .977 OPS late in games.

It goes deeper than just the numbers for why Harris has more star potential than any other Braves player. He is born and raised in the Atlanta area. The Braves were the team he rooted for growing up, and it was a dream of his to end up playing for them. He talked about how much understanding the impact of winning Rookie of the Year for his hometown team.

"It means a lot," said Harris. "Getting the opportunity to play with this team, getting the deal in the middle of the season, and then icing on the cake getting the award."

On Tuesday's Steakhouse, Steak and Sandra echoed the sentiments of many in that Money Mike is going to be biggest star on this Braves team going forward. You can hear that audio below.

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