Acuna’s Arrival in Atlanta

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Acuna has arrived and Atlanta’s future is as loaded as Acuna’s toolbox. Courtesy: West Coast MLB

When Ronald Acuna Jr. takes the field on Wednesday night in Cincinnati, the Atlanta Braves will see their 20-year-old star-in-the-making make his Major League debut, which seems long-awaited due to Acuna’s time in the minors that was to avoid service time issues in later seasons, having apparently turned down an extension that was similar to the one that the Philadelphia Phillies handed out to rookie utility player Scott Kingery this spring.

Now, the supposed generational talent will showcase his skills and become a possible All-Star, knocking out the playing time of OF Preston Tucker, who just a few days was leading the league in RBI. Certainly, Acuna’s prospect star shines a bit brighter than that of Tucker, and nearly every other prospect in the minors, which is why his arrival could change not only the Braves’ season but the future of baseball.

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Acuna struggled to start the season, but he’s back on track and ready to unload on MLB.

The process that the Atlanta Braves began several years ago is beginning to take shape right now. Utilizing talented young players like Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Max Fried, A.J. Minter, and Luiz Gohara, the Braves have introduced the first wave of a stacked system that will change the recent lack of success that has come along with Atlanta’s rebuild. With the upcoming free agency of Washington Nationals’ OF Bryce Harper, the entire National League East could be up for grabs as soon as 2019, and the Braves have positioned themselves to begin another dynasty, even after losing several players due to idiotic management by former GM John Copolella.

As a 19-year-old in 2017, Acuna played at three minor league levels, compiling the below statistics:

Register Batting
Year Age Tm Lev G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
2017 19 3 Teams AA-AAA-A+ 139 612 557 88 181 31 8 21 82 44 43 144 .325 .374 .522 .896 291 13 4 2 6 0
2017 19 Gwinnett AAA 54 243 221 38 76 14 2 9 33 11 17 48 .344 .393 .548 .940 121 7 2 1 2 0
2017 19 Mississippi AA 57 243 221 29 72 14 1 9 30 19 18 56 .326 .374 .520 .895 115 6 1 0 3 0
2017 19 Florida A+ 28 126 115 21 33 3 5 3 19 14 8 40 .287 .336 .478 .814 55 0 1 1 1 0
2017 19 Peoria Fal 23 99 83 22 27 5 0 7 16 2 12 22 .325 .414 .639 1.053 53 0 2 0 2 0
Mino Mino Mino Minors 253 1106 981 166 299 49 14 30 121 78 99 237 .305 .374 .475 .849 466 26 14 5 7 0
All All All 296 1288 1136 203 353 59 15 39 150 93 121 272 .311 .382 .492 .874 559 30 16 5 10 0
AAA AAA AAA Minors 71 321 290 47 92 16 2 10 35 15 26 70 .317 .375 .490 .865 142 7 2 1 2 0
Rk ( Rk ( Rk ( Minors 57 245 207 42 56 14 4 4 19 16 29 43 .271 .384 .435 .818 90 8 9 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/25/2018.

These numbers have allowed scouts to compare him to Mike Trout, who has compiled a massive 56.5 bWAR in his eight seasons. The power and speed combination overshadow the swing-and-miss in his game, as well as the 20 times that he was caught stealing, but, even if anyone did spend time saying those numbers need to improve, he is young enough to make adjustments and strengthen the already gaudy ability that he has.

Fantasy baseball players will have a hard time getting the young star, as he has been stashed in most leagues; however, if you’ve got people who, somehow, don’t know who he is or what he could become, then have at it and go grab him NOW!

See more from ESPN, MLB.com, and SB Nation.

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