Atlanta Braves: Michael Harris Moves Into Heart of Lineup

It’s been an amazing year for Michael Harris II who has been a huge contributor since joining the Atlanta Braves. His role is growing as he moves up in the lineup. 

When the Atlanta Braves first called up Michael Harris II it was primarily to add some defensive stability in the outfield, shifting Adam Duvall to a more comfortable corner outfield spot with Ronald Acuna Jr. still mostly regulated to DH.

The 21-year-old gave them so much more than that by slashing .347/.371/.574 in his first full month in the big leagues on the way to winning his first NL Rookie of the Month award.

Over parts of three minor league seasons, Harris had slashed .292/.360/.441 so you knew the potential was there for him to be a good hitter.

But not many expected him to jump from Double-A at that age and put up those numbers.

Not to mention, he had yet to show the power potential at the minor league level we’ve seen at the majors where he’s 1 home run away from a 20/20 season.

Still, Brian Snitker remained cautious and left Harris alone at the bottom of the order.

That seemed like a good move as the rookie’s numbers dipped in July to .222/.278/.422 as it looked like the league had adjusted to him.

But this is no ordinary rookie — Harris has finished the season strong showing he’s capable of adjusting back to the league.

Since July he’s 63/188 (.335) with 10 home runs and 17 doubles.

Over that time, we’ve seen Snitker slowly move him up the batting order batting him anywhere from fifth to seventh in the lineup depending on the matchup.

But with the injuries to Ronald Acuna Jr. and the struggles of Austin Riley and Matt Olson, we’ve seen Snitker start to toy with putting Harris at the top having him bat second and fourth this past week.

For the first time this year, Michael Harris II will bat third for the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday against the Nationals.

In his first year in the big leagues, Harris has now hit in every spot in the batting order.

And one thing is for certain, it really doesn’t matter where you bat him, the kid is going to produce.