It’s a good time to be an Atlanta Braves fan. Not only is their young and exciting talent rising through the ranks, but they are playing well too. The Washington Nationals are starting to heat up, but the Braves currently lead the NL East (22-15). They are just a half-game up on the Mets and 1.5 up on the Nats, but the future is bright. And the present isn’t too bad either. Then there’s that young star-power, highlighted by both Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr.
Before last season, Albies would rank as one of the best prospects in all of baseball. And upon his call-up he would live up to the hype, slashing .286/.354/.456 with nine doubles and six home runs over 244 plate appearances. This season, he’s slashing .284/.322/.599 with 13 doubles and 12 long balls. But it’s Acuña who brings the most hype of all. Entering the season, both Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America would rank him as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. And so far, over just 78 plate appearances, we are starting to see why. He’s slashing .274/.328/.500 on the young season with 10 runs, five doubles and three home runs.
Oh, Albies and Acuña are just 21 and 20 years old, respectively.
On the field, Acuña is giving fans plenty of reason to be excited. And on the field, former Braves great Andruw Jones knows Acuña has what it takes to succeed. He just needs to keep a strong head on his shoulder. In an interview back in March, Jones would say the following:
“The main thing he needs to remember is keep your head straight and respect [your surroundings]. Be humble, but a humble-cocky.”
And more than anything, Acuña is ready to go. He loves the team Atlanta is building, and he cannot wait to keep going.
“It’s an exciting team. It’s an exciting team. We’re going to work. And it’s been a great pleasure to be a part of it,” Acuña says.
Something tells us Braves fans couldn’t agree more.