Top 15 Atlanta Braves Through First Five Months of 2023

We rank the 15 best Atlanta Braves Players through the first five months of the 2023 season.
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Eddie Rosario, Ronald Acuna Jr., Michael Harris II
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9. Michael Harris II

Michael Harris II has bounced back from a very slow start to his sophomore season. Looking at his overall numbers, you wouldn’t know how much he struggled during the first part of the season. Harris currently has a .286 average with a .787 OPS. He has 12 homers and 19 steals in 105 games. He continues to play phenomenal defense in center field.

Despite being one of the most challenging defensive positions on the field, Harris II has been worth five defensive runs saved above the average CF this year. He has tremendous range, ranking in the 89th percentile in OAA. His arm is one of the best in the game, ranking in the 87th percentile. Despite his early struggles, Harris has been the Braves' 9th-best player through the first five months of the 2023 season.

8. Bryce Elder

Bryce Elder is an interesting study on the differences between Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference’s WAR calculations. When considering pitching, I prefer BR since they use runs allowed per nine innings rather than FIP in their calculations. FIP is nice but it completely eliminates balls in play from the equation. That’s why guys like Bryce Elder get penalized in Fangraphs’ WAR calculations, despite actually preventing other teams from scoring runs… which is ultimately the primary goal of the pitcher.

I don’t care if it is via strikeout or not. Elder has a 2.9 rWAR and a 1.7fWAR. Why such a contrast? Basically, it boils down to the fact that Elder doesn’t strike a lot of guys out. Regardless of whether this sort of production is sustainable, it has happened. Elder has posted a 10-4 record with a 3.39 ERA through the first five months of the season. Call it what you want, but Elder has put up 143.1 valuable innings for the Braves this season. 

7. Charlie Morton

Charlie Morton has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball over his past few starts. He hasn’t allowed a single run over his past three starts (18.0 innings). Morton is quieting any doubters who were wondering if he was getting too old. He has a 3.37 ERA over 141.2 innings this year. Charlie has 13 wins on the season and 10 losses. With the injuries to Max Fried and Kyle Wright this year, the Braves really needed reliability out of Morton and they have received more than they could have hoped for from Uncle Charlie.

Also Read: Michael Harris is Really Better With Strider Starting