Atlanta Braves may have the best prospect in baseball in Acuna

Ronald Acuna’s performance this year is accelerating him toward the majors at a shocking rate and people are (finally) taking notice

The Atlanta Braves have known for a while that Ronald Acuna was pretty good.  But there’s no way they could have forecast this kind of trajectory for their Venezuelan teen phenom.

The plot line for the 1993 movie “Rookie of the Year” (which came out 4 years before Acuna was born) involves a 12-year-old who has a broken arm that heals “too tightly” which suddenly gives him a 103 mph fastball and a contract with the Minnesota Twins.

In late Spring last year, Acuna suffered a thumb injury that sidelined him for 3 full months and cost him a lot of experience at Rome.  Since returning from that malady, he’s been unstoppable.  Was that thumb wired a bit better for him?

Of course the flaw of that allusion to the movie is that he was already hitting .300 with a 131 wRC+ at Rome before the injury… and still early on after turning 18.

This season, the Braves are still trying to find a league in which to challenge Acuna.  He’s only getting better with every step up the ladder:

  • High-A Florida:  28 games, .287 / .336 / .478 / .814
  • AA Mississippi:  57 games, .326 / .374 / .520 / .895
  • AAA Gwinnett:  29 games, .330 / .403 / .539 / .942

That he’s been promoted twice this year is notable.  That he’s getting better at each level is surprising.  That he’s still just 19 years old and doing all of this is just stunning.

So others are figuring this out…

 

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Let’s see how the changes have been evolving this year for Acuna’s rankings:

BASEBALL AMERICA

  • AUG 2016 – Not listed – 6 Braves (at least) ahead of him
  • FEB 10 – 67th overall prospect
  • JULY 7 – 10th overall prospect

MLB PIPELINE

  • 2016 – 18th … on the Braves-only list
  • 2017 – 8th … overall, and #1 on the Braves’ list

TOMAHAWKTAKE (No, we weren’t immune)

  • 2016 – 5th … on the Braves-only list
  • 2017 – #1

CALLTOTHEPEN

 

But is Acuna the Best…

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