Baseballs next superstar arrived in the major leagues on April 25, 2018. His name is Ronald Acuña.
This is the day that baseball executives and GMS work their asses off for. The day that they wait for. The day when a future superstar that you drafted/developed arrives in the majors and becomes the talk of the baseball world. Well most GMS would do that anyway. But the GM responsible for signing Ronald Acuña to the Atlanta Braves, Frank Wren, now works for the Red Sox. His assistant, John Coppolella, has been banned from baseball for breaking pretty much every international signing rule ever created.
Regardless, current GM Alex Anthopolous is enjoying the fruits of their labors. Ronald Acuña is the youngest players in the majors, at just 20 years old. He was born in December of 1997. I’m almost 4 years older than this guy, and hear I am writing a blog about him. Life is weird.
Acuña signed with the Braves in July of 2014, and made his professional debut in 2015. His 2015 was okay, as he adjusted to professional baseball. 2016 was better, but he suffered an injury and missed much of the year. Then in 2017, Acuña exploded, slashing .325/.374/.522 with 21 homers, 82 RBIs and 44 stolen bases. Then he messed around in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .325 and taking home MVP honors. At 19.
Acuña was the best player in the Grapefruit League this spring. He was a major league player. But because of the stupid “if you hold player out of major league games until ____ date, you get an extra year of club control” rule, Acuña started the season in Triple A.
The dude is gonna be in line for a massive contract extension in like 4 years anyway, who the hell cares about that extra year?
Either way, Acuña is here now. And he’s doing this.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 26, 2018
I mean, not the best idea to throw an 89 mph 3-1 dick shot, but hey Acuña destroyed that baseball.
Oh, and Acuña can run a little bit.
One thing Ronald Acuña Jr. proved in last night’s debut? He’s FAST!
The @Braves phenom flashed a 30.3 ft/sec Sprint Speed going 1st to 3rd on a single, cracking the elite 30 ft/sec mark.
MLB-average Sprint Speed just 27 ft/sec! pic.twitter.com/9w8nkEPFqP
— #Statcast (@statcast) April 26, 2018
Look you don’t get to be the number 1 prospect in baseball without being a 5 tool player. But Acuña is a rare breed. H’s exceptional in all 5 categories. Mike Trout is probably the best comparison is baseball for what Acuña is projected to be. But Trout isn’t the best defender. He doesn’t have the best throwing arm. Acuña is better in those departments.
This guy is going to be special. You can have your Shohei Ohtani’s and Lewis Brinson’s of the world.
I’m taking Ronald Acuña all goddamn day.
-Brian Borders (@bborders12)