Black MiLB Players You Need To Know About #6: Michael Harris II

Background + Path To Professional Baseball

Michael Harris II is a twenty-year-old outfielder in the Atlanta Braves organization from DeKalb, Georgia. Harris was drafted by the Braves in the third round(98th overall) of the 2019 MLB Draft out of Stockbridge High School and was ecstatic to be selected by the Braves as he grew up a Braves fan. Harris received a $548,000 signing bonus when he signed his professional contract and forewent his commitment to Texas Tech. Harris participated in the Marquis Grissom Baseball Association in south Atlanta for years, founded by former Atlanta Braves outfielder and Atlanta native Marquis Grissom. Harris credits Grissom for helping him become a competent defender in the outfield and staying on point with the mental aspects of the game. Grissom would quiz Harris on potential game decisions and what to do in reaction to them.

Player Profile

Michael Harris II is 6'0'’, 195 pounds, bats from both sides of the plate, and throws left-handed. Evaluators give Harris high grades for his ability to make contact and hit for power. Along with this, he has displayed a good eye at the plate based on his walk rates in the small number of professional games he has played. Harris can drive the ball to all fields from both sides of the plate and shortens his swing in two-strike counts to optimize his ability to make contact. Harris frequently makes line-drive contact and hits a lot of groundballs although there is a chance this may change based on the fact that he has not even reached 100 career games as a professional. Based on his Trackman data, Harris’s average exit velocity is 90 mph, his hard-hit rate is 42%, and his maximum exit velocity is 107 mph. Harris is a competent hitter from both sides of the plate, and so far in his career has not shown any major weaknesses when it comes to his ability to go against right-handed or left-handed pitchers.

Conclusion

Michael Harris II is a top prospect in the Atlanta Braves organization playing for his hometown team, and it is a dream come true for everyone involved. The Braves were excited to draft him when he fell to the third round of the 2019 MLB Draft, and so far in his MiLB career, he has performed. An athletic switch-hitting outfielder that can hit for contact and power with a strong throwing arm, Harris has tools that can play at the major league level. With the return of Minor League Baseball for 2021, all eyes are on Harris as he is playing his first full season at the Atlanta Braves High-A affiliate Rome Braves.

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