Ronald Acuna is flying through the best farm system in baseball, and appears to be on the fast track to the major leagues. Acuna was signed by the team out of Venezuela on July 2, 2014 for $100,000. This has the potential to be the biggest bargain in franchise history. Though just 19-years old, Acuna is the team’s best five-tool prospect and has exceeded expectations this season.
Acuna can do it all, which has led to some making comparisons to Andruw Jones. Jones was one of the Braves brightest young stars and may be on his way to the Hall-of-Fame, but the way Acuna is hitting this season, perhaps it is not too far-fetched of a comparison. Since being promoted to AA Mississippi after just 26 games of A+ ball, he has put together a ridiculous 1.102 OPS. Unfortunately, a thumb injury limited Acuna’s playing time in 2016, but he is dominating in his first full season with the organization.
Overall, Acuna has put together around a full season’s work (146 games). During this span, he has hit .306 with 26 doubles, 12 triples, 14 homers, 71 RBI, and perhaps most impressively, 56 stolen bases.
Acuna has a legitimate chance at being a 30-30 player for the Braves and has increased his power with age thus far in his career. He is dominating against players that are all older than him and had already garnered attention as a top 100 prospect before his breakout 2017 season. When it is all said and done, only Kevin Maitan rivals Acuna’s potential ceiling.
If Acuna continues to perform like he has in the season’s first months, there is no reason to think he could not be in the lineup next season. Perhaps he may even debut as a teenager, like Andruw. The Braves have been very intent on challenging their young talent, and right now Acuna has taken full advantage of this challenge.