Why Michael Harris II is the MVP of the 2022 Atlanta Braves

Jon Chuckery explains why Money Mike is this Braves’ MVP this season
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The Atlanta Braves for the fifth year in a row are NL East Champions, and they head into the 2022 postseason with the goal of defending their World Series title. The comeback the Braves had to make to earn their fifth straight division title has been well documented, but there were a lot of players who were an intricate part of the Braves comeback.

Who was the most important player in the Braves 2022 NL East title run you might ask, well if you ask Jon Chuckery he would tell you there aren’t really any bad answers, but his answer is the hopefully soon to be NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II. Wednesday night on The Jon Chuckery Show, Chuck explained why Money Mike is his 2022 Atlanta Braves MVP.

On May 28th the Atlanta Braves called up Michael Harris II from Double-A Mississippi, and Harris hit the ground running and just never stopped running. In 114 games Michael Harris lived up to his nickname, Money Mike, because he was money for the Braves batting .297, hitting 19 home runs, batting in 64 runs, scoring 75 runs, and stealing 20 bases.

Harris II was the exact spark the Braves needed after center fielder Adam Duvall went down with a season ending wrist injury, and soon after Money Mike was called up the Braves went on a historic run and started their comeback to win their fifth straight NL East Title.

Since June 1st the Atlanta Braves have the best record in baseball at 78-34, and June 1st also marks the start of the Braves fourteen game winning streak. Again, guys like Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson, and Spencer Strider, who made his first major league start May 30th, were also very important, but when it comes to Michael Harris II Jon Chuckery says “he’s playing one of the most important positions that you could ask a guy to do, so he’s gotta come in and play defense and do all of that first then he comes up and he starts raking to the point where he was a homerun short of a 20-20 season.”

Jon Chuckery also points out that Harris II mainly put up that production at the bottom of the Braves lineup and says “It was an outstanding performance, 114 games where he came in and provided you a spark both on offense, defense, and he made that whole, especially that top of that order.” Jon Chuckery believes Michael Harris II made the Braves top of the order better and he’s not wrong because with Harris’ .339 on-base percentage he was getting on-base and flipping the order back to Ronald Acuña Jr. and Dansby Swanson when he was batting in the nine hole.

Another reason Jon believes Money Mike is the 2022 Atlanta Braves MVP is because of the “youthful spark” he and guys like Vaughn Grissom and Spencer Strider provided. Chuckery says “One of the reasons that this team won’t get complacent is because of that youthful spark that they got from the Vaughn Grissoms and the Michael Harris and the Spencer Strider, those kind of guys that weren’t here last year.”

Again, the Braves had multiple contributors that were key to the Braves winning 101 games and their fifth straight NL East title, but ask yourself this, do the Braves still win the NL East this year without Michael Harris II? If your answer is no then that is the exact reason why he’s the 2022 Atlanta Braves MVP.

Featured Image Photo Credit: © Dale Zanine | 2022 Jul 8