Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves is absolutely one of those players. What players? Well…
Each season a new wave of young players bursts on to the scene in hopes of making their mark in their MLB roster. With a lot of young prospects, there is a bit of a learning curve; whether it be game-related or just getting accustomed to the major. For some players, they have all the tools and intangibles needed to survive in the big leagues.
Some Braves fans might be feeling a sense of deja vu. While Acuna is a left field, he bears a striking resemblance to another Brave. It wasn’t too long ago a young phenom by the name of Andruw Jones was prowling the outfield, making breathtaking plays and in general playing a major role for those great Braves teams of the 90’s. Let’s not forget another rookie-turned-Hall-of-Famer Chipper Jones who also spent a little time in left field himself.
Acuna has big shoes to fill
Acuna’s meteoric rise up the ranks was one of the stories of minor league baseball a season ago. He started in High-A at age 19. He eventually found himself in Triple-A where he set the International League on fire to the tune of a .344/.393/.548 with 9 home runs in just 54 games.
Then, he carried that momentum in the Arizona Fall League where he was named the MVP. Acuna possesses the speed to steal 25 bases a season, the power to easily blast 30 home runs and he’s glove is so good that he’ll undoubtedly be Golden, multiple times by the end of the year. He’s wasted no time leaving his mark on the big league, in just his second MLB game he crushed a moonshot off of Homer Bailey, a fitting answer to a popular trivia question years down the road.
Ronald Acuna Jr. just crushed his 1st @MLB home run!
Exit velocity: 105.8 mph
Launch angle: 30 degrees
Projected distance: 416 feet
— #Statcast (@statcast) April 26, 2018
Future looking good for the Braves, for once
The Atlanta Braves have a bright future ahead for them with one the most talented farm systems in baseball headlined by Acuna, second baseman Ozzie Albies, and young Canadian fireballer Mike Soroka. Perhaps, another run of great baseball is on the horizon in Atlanta.