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Chipper Jones: ‘Michael Harris is a superstar’

Michael Harris
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chipper Jones: ‘Michael Harris is a superstar’

MLB Hall of Famer Chipper Jones had nothing but praise for second-year Braves’ outfielder Michael Harris II.

Jones arrived in North Port, Florida, at the site of the Braves Spring Training camp. He’ll serve as Atlanta’s hitting consultant this season.

Jones spoke with MLB.com’s Mark Bowman on Monday about this upcoming season, including about Harris, who is coming off an NL Rookie of the Year award.

“Michael Harris is a superstar. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. I saw him coming up and immediately thought he was a left-handed Ronald Acuña [Jr.]. He’s just a phenomenal kid. He works hard. He’s the kind of guy you really pull for,” Jones said to Bowman.

It has to feel good as a second-year player to be compared to Ronald Acuña Jr., no matter what you did in your rookie year. Especially from Jones, arguably one of the best hitters in Braves history. That’s about as good as it gets.

Like Atlanta has been doing with all their good young players, the Braves gave Harris a team-friendly, massive contract. Atlanta rewarded the 21-year-old with an eight-year extension worth $72 million.

Atlanta smartly didn’t even let Harris reach arbitration. When you have a stud like Harris, it is vital you lock him up before you start arguing with him about pennies on the dollar. I’m talking to you, Brewers.

Atlanta’s Retention of Young Talent Pre-Arbitration

It is underrated how well the Braves are able to keep their young players before they hit arbitration. Along with Harris, they gave second baseman Ozzie Albies a seven-year, $35 million pre-arbitration contract.

They also awarded fellow second-year player Spencer Strider a similar deal, six years, $75 million. Not to mention the golden goose Acuña Jr., who signed for eight years and $100 million after the 2021 season.

The Braves have mastered the pre-arbitration deal. They also have an uncanny ability to sign players to massive extensions while still keeping the deals team friendly.

Atlanta is one of the model organizations in the league right now, due to the massive return they have received from their homegrown talent over these past few seasons.

Not only are they creating the talent that is on the big league club, but they also aren’t breaking the bank to keep them around.

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