Teammate’s praise of Ronald Acuña Jr. should terrify the rest of baseball
One of the latest comments from Atlanta Braves teammate Ronald Acuña Jr is expected to swell the fan base while terrifying the rest of the league.
Spring training is right around the corner for all 30 MLB teams. For the Atlanta Braves, pitchers and receivers report Feb. 16, while position players report Feb. 21.
The Braves had a turbulent offseason, as even though they lost shortstop Dansby Swanson in free agency, they acquired receiver Sean Murphy from the Oakland Athletics in a three-team trade that also included the Milwaukee Brewers.
Now they are looking to return to the World Series after falling short to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL Divisional Series.
For the Braves, they should see star outfielder Ronald Acuña start the season healthy. Last season he made his debut at the end of April while recovering from a torn ACL, and he has struggled with injuries throughout the campaign. Braves fans should be thrilled with Acuña’s chances of returning to form, based on comments second baseman Ozzie Albies made to The Athletic’s David O’Brien (subscription required).
“I expect him to be better than the 2019 Ronald, when he left,” Albies said, h/t The Athletic. “He’s going to have a big year this year. Last year he came back, still not playing 100% with his knee. This year we spoke to him and he said he felt better and was going to have a crazy year.
Ozzie Albies’ comments on Ronald Acuna should terrify the rest of baseball
Acuña back in shape in 2019? Virtually every Braves fan will sign up for it.
Of course, in the 2019 season, Acuña made the All-Star Game for the first time in his career and won his first Silver Slugger award. That year, Acuña led the league with 37 stolen bases, 127 runs scored, and 715 plate appearances. He cut .280/.365/.518 while recording 41 homers, 101 RBIs and 175 hits.
Last year, the outfielder played in just 119 games, where he recorded a .266 batting average, a career-low .764 OPS, 15 homers, 50 RBIs, 71 runs scored and 124 hits.
Acuña spent the offseason playing in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he was seen hitting massive home runs. However, he retired from the league after a home run led to an incident with his family in the stands.
As the World Baseball Classic approached, Acuña revealed he would not be playing with Team Venezuela, citing suggestions made by Atlanta doctors and coaching staff.
Could Acuña be in line for a huge rebound season? Ozzie Albies certainly thinks so, and that should get Braves fans excited for the start of spring training and the 2023 season.