Overall, the Atlanta Braves had a good 2022 season, despite the fact that they were unable to repeat as World Series champions after losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS.
With rookies like Michael Harris and Spencer Strider already establishing themselves as two of the greatest players in the whole MLB despite their inexperience, the Braves are still in a strong position to contend for the foreseeable future.
In fact, Harris and Strider performed so well in the first seasons that they ultimately came in first and second place, respectively, in the contest for the National League Rookie of the Year. And in the process, they became the first teammates to accomplish this since former Braves Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel in 2011 and just the fifth team in MLB history to do so.
ESPN Stats & Info claims:
Teammates to finish 1st and 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting:
Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider, ATL, 2022
Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman, ATL, 2011
Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith, CHC, 1989
Alvin Davis and Mark Langston, SEA, 1984
Fred Lynn and Jim Rice, BOS, 1975 pic.twitter.com/i7xHNbRGW6
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 15, 2022
Given that the much-heralded 2011 rookie combination went on to have lengthy, successful careers and are still playing, Harris and Strider’s long-term prospects should only be improved by playing with Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel.
Following the injury to star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. in May, Michael Harris quickly made his mark and hasn’t looked back since. Harris recorded an impressive.297/.339/.514 slash line and 4.8 WAR (per Fangraphs) in just 114 games (441 plate appearances).
Harris also soon established himself as one of the league’s most entertaining five-tool players, hitting 19 home runs and stealing 20 bases in addition to playing outstanding centerfield defense. In August, the Braves swiftly signed him to a long-term contract, keeping him in Atlanta at least through 2030.
Spencer Strider, in contrast, was absolutely dominant, recording an incredible strikeout rate of 38.3 percent on his way to a 2.67 ERA in 131.2 innings of work. He was cleverly extended by the Braves in October, and he will likely lead the team’s rotation for some time to come.
The Braves are in one of the most enviable positions in all of Major League Baseball, and, barring any unanticipated injury complications, they will be ready to compete for the World Series crown year in and year out with stars like Ronald Acuna Jr.
Austin Riley and Matt Olson are still in town to go along with their elite rookie duo. Michael Harris and Spencer Strider, two rookies with the Braves, became the first since Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel to accomplish a remarkable feat.