Top Prospects Of The Day: Ronald Acuna Hype Train Full Steam Ahead
Tuesday’s top prospects featured big performances from some of baseball’s most highly touted up-and-comers. The recently promoted Ronald Acuna of the Braves was one of the night’s highlights after a big Double-A debut. One of the Mets top prospects, Dominic Smith, bopped his way out of a slump. Wiry Cleveland righty Triston McKenzie struck out a career-high 14 batters. And Angels lefty Nate Smith made his season debut and pitched a steady 5 2/3 scoreless innings, with dreams of a spot in the big league rotation looming ever closer.
3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Strikeouts were never exactly a concern for one of the Braves’ top prospects, Ronald Acuna. He’s always demonstrated patience at the plate and has a history of drawing his walks, that’s why his start to his first season of High-A ball was a little surprising. Acuna was striking out over 30 percent of the time while walking less than seven percent of the time; both numbers were far apart from career norms.
That’s why his promotion to Double-A Mississippi was such a surprise. On Tuesday, the Braves decided to let Acuna try his hand at a much tougher level of competition. He didn’t disappoint. Acuna in his Double-A debut belted a two-run home run in his first at-bat. He collected two more hits on the night and made the Braves brass look like geniuses in the very early going.
The aggressive promotion to Double-A was intriguing. Clearly, in the past, Acuna has exemplified proper bat approach and by all accounts appeared to have a great eye, so his walk and strikeout rates in High-A were surely set to normalize soon. One of the game’s best and most under-the-radar prospects is accruing some well-deserved hype after an exciting debut in Double-A.