Braves news: Teammate’s praise of Ronald Acuña Jr. should terrify rest of baseball
One of Ronald Acuña Jr’s Atlanta Braves teammate’s latest comments should pump up the fanbase while terrifying the rest of the league.
Spring training is just around the corner for all 30 MLB teams. For the Atlanta Braves, pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 16, while position players report on Feb. 21.
The Braves had an eventful offseason, as even though they lost shortstop Dansby Swanson in free agency, they did acquire catcher Sean Murphy from the Oakland Athletics in a three-team trade also including the Milwaukee Brewers.
Now, they are looking to make it back to the World Series after falling short to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL Divisional Series.
For the Braves, they are set to have star outfielder Ronald Acuña start the season at full health. Last season, he debuted in late April as he recovered from a torn ACL, and he did deal with some injuries throughout the campaign. Braves fans should be pumped about Acuña’s chances of returning to form, based on the comments that 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 went off,” said Albies, h/t The Athletic. “He’s gonna have a big year this year. Last year, he came back, kind of still playing not at 100 percent with his knee. This year, we talked to him and he said he feels better, and he’s gonna have a crazy year.”
Ozzie Albies’ comments about Ronald Acuna should terrify the rest of baseball
Acuña returning to 2019 form? Virtually every Braves fan will sign up for that.
Of course, back in the 2019 season, Acuña made it to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career and won his first-career Silver Slugger award. That year, Acuña led the league with 37 stolen bases, 127 runs scored, and 715 plate appearances. He slashed .280/.365/.518 while recording 41 home runs, 101 RBI, 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 home runs, 50 RBI, 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 trot led to an incident with his family in the stands.
With the World Baseball Classic approaching, Acuña revealed that he would not play with Team Venezuela, citing suggestions made by Atlanta’s doctors and training staff.
Could Acuña be in line for a huge bounce-back season? Ozzie Albies certainly thinks so, and that should make Braves fans excited for the start of spring training and the 2023 season.