Monday, September 27, 2021
I don’t exactly agree with his choice, but on Monday ESPN’s Eric Logenhagen named outfielder Michael Harris II as the Braves prospect who’s made the biggest step forward in 2021.
Harris, in his age-20 season, played all year with High-A Rome, easily putting together the best numbers of his two-year pro career. In 101 games, the prospect slashed .294/.362/.436 with seven home runs, 26 doubles and 27 stolen bases.
The Braves third round pick from 2019 has evolved into a national star ever since spending most of last season at the Braves alternate site. Heading into the 2021 regular season, Harris was named on several well-known prospect lists, and I ranked the outfielder sixth on my Braves Top 30 in June. In August I moved him up to fifth, just behind catcher Shea Langeliers (who I believe should’ve actually been Logenhagen’s choice on Monday and also my pick for the Braves minor league MVP).
With a full season of High-A ball now completed, it’s all but guaranteed that Harris will begin 2022 with Double-A Mississippi, where the toolsy prospect will get a taste of higher competition. At this rate, Harris could even find himself with a shot at the majors by the second-half of next year, assuming all goes well with both the M-Braves and then of course Triple-A Gwinnett. However, with him still so young and the Braves so deep in terms of talented prospect outfielders, perhaps it’s more realistic to look for a 2023 ETA to the majors. Either way, Harris is progressing nicely, and there’s no doubt he’s one of the top-five prospects in the organization.