Atlanta Braves legendary third baseman Chipper Jones gave outfielder Michael Harris II some advice as he struggled in the batter's box earlier this season.
The Atlanta Braves sit atop the NL East standings entering Memorial Day weekend. Their big stars are contributing, but there is one player who has concerned some of the fanbase, and that is outfielder Michael Harris II. After winning NL Rookie of the Year last year, he has failed to replicate that success so far this season, specifically in the batter's box. Entering Wednesday's series finale game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Harris was hitting just .163 and put up an OPS of .486.
But one franchise legend is not worried about Harris' slump continuing.
Former third baseman and Hall of Famer Chipper Jones worked with Harris before Tuesday's game against the Dodgers. Jones told MLB.com's Mark Bowman that one key for Harris to break out of the slump about how to break out of the slump, which was to hit through the shortstop. Not only that, but Jones said that he watched Harris' batting practice session on Tuesday and called it "very encouraging."
Jones works as a team consultant for the team, specifically working with hitters before home games.
Harris returned to the lineup on Wednesday after being given a day off. During the team's season finale, Harris hit a single off Dodgers pitcher Victor Gonzalez in the top of the eighth inning. With that, he ended an 0-for-24 slump. Unfortunately, the Braves were unable to score a run, as Ronald Acuña Jr. grounded into a double play. The Braves went on to win the game 4-3 on a walk-off sacrifice fly hit by Ozzie Albies.
After this game, Harris now holds a .169 batting average, a .245 on-base percentage, a .247 slugging percentage, a .492 OPS, one home run, five RBI, eight runs scored, 15 hits, and 20 strikeouts in 89 at-bats (27 games).
This year, Harris did deal with injuries. He was placed on the injured list in early April due to a lower back strain. Then, he jammed his right knee running to first base on May 3 against the Miami Marlins and missed the next two games. But, the struggles at the plate have been there for Harris.
Braves fans will wait and see if Harris can gain some momentum and put up some more hits, especially in a big holiday weekend series against the rival Philadelphia Phillies.2023-05-25T22:11:49Z dg43tfdfdgfd