Harris made history, becoming the youngest Georgia-born player (21 years and 82 days old) to debut for the Braves in the club’s 56-year stay in Atlanta. He finished the game 1-for-3 with a single, a run and a strikeout, while providing defensive value in center field and allowing Adam Duvall to slide over to play right field.
Manager Brian Snitker expects Harris to be a regular option for the Braves’ lineup and said that having him take over in center can help elevate the club’s defense.
“He had a couple of really nice at-bats,” Snitker said. “Watching him track that ball was pretty good too.”
Harris flashed his speed as well, using a single from designated hitter Ronald Acuña to dash from first base to third. Defensively, his acceleration helped him pull down a couple of key catches, much to the amazement of starter Tucker Davidson.
“It was awesome,” Davidson said. “There was a ball in the gap, I can’t remember who hit it, and I was like, ‘go get it, Mike!’”
“He’s an incredible talent, he’s so fast and such a great athlete.”
A 2019 third-round pick out of Stockbridge High School, Harris grew up rooting for the Braves and has had dreams of the major leagues for almost all of his life.
Before the game, Harris revealed that one of his fondest memories from watching the Braves was the 2010 debut of another local player, Jason Heyward. The 21-year-old Heyward arrived in the majors with a first-inning, three-run home run.
Harris didn’t clear the fences in his own debut and couldn’t lift the Braves to victory against the Marlins. But the hometown kid made an impression in every facet of the game and showed why he can be a major part of the Braves’ future.
“I felt like I belonged there,” Harris said. “I was just trying to go out there and have fun and compete.”