From Fan to Fixture: Three Stories of 21-Year-Old Braves Rookies
From fan to fixture: Here are three stories of 21-year-old Braves rookies who’ve made the jump from the minors to the majors. One story involves Michael Harris II, whose career has been the talk of Atlanta sports news. Another tells of the rise of Ronald Acuna Jr., who slugged 15 home runs in his first season with Atlanta.
Michael Harris II’s journey from fan to fixture
Michael Harris II was drafted by the Atlanta Braves out of high school. As a fan of the Braves, Harris was a huge fan of Andrew Jones and Chipper Jones. In addition to these stars, Harris idolized Ronald Acuna Jr. and hung out with them at Center Field in Atlanta. As a result, he has generated comparisons to many of these players.
Harris’ plus speed makes him a valuable asset in the outfield. He can cover a lot of ground while also being an excellent base stealer. The 21-year-old can help win games with his glove, arm, and legs.
Patrick Weigel’s journey from fan to fixture
Weigel’s physical build and fastball are impressive, but command and control are his biggest issues. He can throw four pitches, including a slider and a fastball, with good velocity and movement, but still needs to refine his arm action.
Weigel is a big right-hander, and he could’ve made his big league debut two years ago. But after being injured in the spring and offseason, Weigel was ruled out. In June 2017, he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed his chance to make his big league debut. While recovering, Weigel visited Dr. James Andrews in Florida to learn more about the procedure.
Jason Heyward’s rookie season
Jason Heyward has had a stellar rookie season for the Braves. Coming into the season, Heyward was regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball. However, he came into the year a few steps behind the next big thing in Florida, power-hitting outfielder Mike Stanton, who will be called up from Jacksonville by the Marlins in a few months. Nevertheless, Heyward has been making noise with his clutch hits.
Heyward was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2007 as the 14th overall pick. He was gifted with exceptional raw power and an advanced approach. He showed outfield skills few prep stars possess. In 2010, Baseball America named him its top prospect ahead of Giancarlo Stanton and Stephen Strasburg. In short, Heyward was thought of as a future Hall of Famer.
Andrew Heaney’s strikeout rate
Michael Harris II is an Atlanta Braves fan. As a teenager in Decatur, Georgia, he idolized Chipper and Andruw Jones. He was drafted by the Braves after attending Stockbridge High School. In June of this year, he was named the National League Rookie of the Month. Since his emergence, Harris has made steady progress.
When he was first drafted, the Braves had a large amount of uncertainty in centerfield. Cristian Pache had been traded to the Oakland A’s and Ronald Acuna missed the start of the season due to ACL surgery. The Braves were looking for a centerfielder to fill the void. At the time of Harris’s promotion, the team was 22-25, eight-and-a-half games behind the Mets. Since then, Harris has helped the Atlanta Braves go 75-34.