It’s not necessarily surprising, given the nature of Braves Twitter… and Braves Facebook, but we’ve already started to receive comments from worried fans regarding Ronald Acuña’s slow start.
I’m well aware people thought Acuña was going to be in the running for the MVP (he was even the odds on betting favorite to take home the award), and he still has a chance to turn things around. However, slow starts are nothing new for the Braves 22-year-old phenom.
Last year, it took nine games for Acuña to even record a game with multiple hits. Over that span, he hit just .129 with two extra-base hits (both home runs) and six strikeouts, but it didn’t take him long to completely turn things around. Acuña followed that stretch with a nine-game hitting streak in which he clobbered four home runs and had a .500 batting average, resulting in a ridiculous OPS of 1.558.
As a rookie in 2018, Acuña actually got off to a hot start, hitting .417 with a homer in his first six big-league games. However, he began that year in Gwinnett, and just like 2019, he struggled mightily to begin the season. Acuña wasn’t hitting .200 until game #14 and only had one homer… and that was in AAA!
So yeah, 2-15 with eight strikeouts isn’t promising, but this is just par for the course for Acuña over his short career, which is why — even though he had all the MVP hype — I didn’t think the shorter season would help him in that regard. He’s been a notoriously slow starter, but in a few weeks, all of this will be forgotten when he’s launching balls into the stratosphere and stealing three bags a game. He is the last person on the Braves fans should be worrying about.