Is the Braves young star Michael Harris II poised to become an MVP candidate in 2024?

In his first two big league seasons, Michael Harris II has put up at least 4.0 fWAR in each. Does MH2 reach the next level and become an MVP candidate in 2024?

Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Yes, we are just four games into Spring Training, but one Braves player is already raising expectations for himself in 2024. I'm speaking of course about centerfielder, Michael Harris II, who has homered twice in his first seven AB's is getting a lot of preseason love.

Money Mike already has a Rookie of the Year award in his trophy case, but is 2024 the year he takes the next step and adds an MVP award to his shelf. Depending on which place you look, Harris II's odds are a huge longshot sitting at around the +8,000 number. By comparison, his teammate and reigning NL MVP, Ronald Acuna Jr. is the favorite in to take home the award in the National League again with his odds sitting around +500.

Those odds may not do Harris II justice though, and in this article we'll take a look at how MH2 can put it all together and win NL MVP.

More tools than Home Depot

Firstly to be an MVP candidate, the ability to impact the game in multiple areas will always benefit you. Michael Harris II checks those boxes and then some. At 22 years-old he is a five-tool player who can impact the game at any moment. He has an 85th percentile or better mark in baserunning value, xBA, xSLG, hard-hit%, OAA, arm value, and sprint speed.

He has posted at least a 4.0 fWAR in each of his first two seasons in the bigs, including last year when he was batting below the Mendoza line in May. We have not yet seen the best of Michael Harris II. Most projection models have him right around 4.0 fWAR once again, and his first 20-20 season as a pro.

His talent is enough to carry him to that 3.0 fWAR, but his approach and consistency is what can catapult him into the MVP race in 2024. To accomplish that, most would point to his production against LHP's. However, in 2023 MH2 had a 114 wRC+ vs. LHP, compared to his 115 wRC+ vs. RHP. After ruling that notion out, the next area we look to is plate discipline for the young hitter.

This is where we see the room for improvement. Last season, Harris II was in the 6th percentile for chase%, and the 4th percentile in BB%. Lowering his career 41.6 O-Swing% would go a long way toward molding Michael Harris II into a 6-WAR player. Already a career 125 wRC+ hitter, the next step with the bat puts him into the 135ish wRC+ area along with all his other tools.

The glove is among the best in MLB, the speed has the potential to rank among league leaders, and the power was shown in his 110 mph home run yesterday. All that is left for Michael Harris II is a little improvement in his plate discipline. If money Mike improves upon that next year, he could be in for an MVP season in 2024.

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