Braves center fielder Michael Harris II endured a rough night at the plate on Monday, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout as Atlanta beat the visiting the New York Mets 5-0.
After the game, Harris had more to celebrate than his team's win. The Braves announced that they signed the 21-year-old rookie to an eight-year, $72 million contract.
Club options at the end of the deal could tie Harris to the team through the 2032 season.
Harris, an Atlanta-area native, has made a good impression since making his major league debut on May 28. Arriving after Adam Duvall sustained a left wrist injury that eventually required season-ending surgery, Harris immediately took over as the Braves' everyday center fielder.
Through 71 games, Harris is hitting .287 with 12 homers, 39 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. His .825 on-base-plus-slugging percentage leads all qualified major league rookies.
The new contract will go through Harris' arbitration-eligible years and beyond.
Harris will make $5 million annually in 2023 and 2024, $8 million each of the following two seasons, $9 million in 2027, $10 million in both 2028 and 2029 and $12 million in 2030. The Braves hold a $15 million team option for 2031 (with a $5 million buyout) and a $20 million option for 2032 (with a $5 million buyout).
Atlanta chose Harris out of Stockbridge (Ga.) High School with a third-round pick in the 2019 draft, and he was considered the organization's top prospect at the time of his promotion to the parent club.
--Field Level Media