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NL Rookie of the Year: Which Brave Will Win It

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Spencer Strider and Michael Harris II have made immediate impacts on the Atlanta Braves roster this season. Between the two players that have been able to keep the Braves in a heat NL East race with the New York Mets. Strider finally got a full season under his belt and is arguably the best pitcher in the National League. While Michael Harris got called up and has become a hitting and fielding machine. Both players are deserving of winning this award however only one player can win the coveted National League Rookie of the Year award.

Spencer Strider

Strider has made some high-profile pitching performances making him one of the best in the game. Coming into the season there were many questions about who the pitcher behind Max Fried would be. Strider has filled that role perfectly with a 2.67 earned run average in 131.2 innings. He also has an 11-5 record with 202 strikeouts this year.  His earned run average rivals some of the greatest rookie pitchers of all time like Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden.

With a WAR of 4.9, he has shown that he has been an incredible addition to the Braves’ starting rotation. He relies on his strikeouts to get out of trouble with 13.81 strikeouts per nine innings and does not allow a lot of walks with 3.08 walks per nine innings. Overall, Strider has made a great case for his nomination for NL rookie of the year. It will be interesting to see if missing a start will impact his chance of taking the award away from his teammate.

Michael Harris II

Harris II has been a breakout fielder this season for the Braves. At the beginning of the season, the Braves outfield consisted of Eddie Rosario, Marcell Ozuna, Guillermo Heredia, Adam Duvall, and Alex Dickerson. With Rosario, Ozuna, and Duval the expected starter the Braves came in with high expectations with this group of players. However, with Ozuna and Rosario struggling at the plate it gave Harris the opportunity to take over center field.

It was a perfect storm for Harris as he has played 101 games so far this year with 18 home runs and 59 runs batted in. He has a slash of .306/.345/.537 which ranks extremely high among players in the National League. He also has a lot of speed on the base paths with 18 stolen bases on the season. Defensively he has also been solid with a 99.5 fielding percentage making him one of the best in the outfield.

Who Deserves NL Rookie of the Year?

Overall, both players are worthy of winning this award. The Braves got new weapons to help them compete for the back-to-back world series. As the ramp up to get into the playoffs Strider and Harris will be imperative to win a World Series.

Overall, Spencer Strider should be the winner of the NL Rookie of the year. He has been the number two starter that the Braves have had to rely on all season. His earned run average competes with other outstanding pitchers throughout the league. He will be a vital player in this year’s playoffs along with years to come with the Braves.  

main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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