We are only four games into the season, so sample sizes must be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s alright for Braves fans to already believe Ronald Acuña Jr. is all the way back. He lit up the box score again last night, recording a homer, double, single, and a walk in Atlanta’s 8-4 win over the Cardinals. On the season, his batting average is up to .353 with a couple of home runs and a 226 wRC+ (126% above league average). Looking even further, Acuña’s average exit velocity is just south of 94 MPH, and his hard-hit is 60%.
A solid .353/.450/.765 (249 wRC+) start to the season for Ronald Acuña Jr.
— Gaurav (@gvedak) April 4, 2023
There was a lot of buzz surrounding Ronald Acuña Jr. coming into the season. Many outlets predicted he would win the NL MVP, and all of his teammates as well as the coaching staff raved about how much different he looked during Spring Training now that he is over a year removed from the torn ACL he suffered in 2021. It may only be four games, but he’s already proving that he’s 100% back to the player he was pre-injury, and he said as much following yesterday’s win.
Acuna: "I'm 100 percent healthy this year. It's extremely different. I'm not battling any pain. The routine is different and I can focus on that" #Braves
— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) April 4, 2023
Acuña was active for most of last season, but he was a shell of himself, and it was easy to tell the knee was still bothering him. He talked about it throughout the year, and it was almost painful to watch as a fan because this is the guy the Braves are used to having on their side.
Make no mistake about it: the National League is chock-full of fantastic talents, but a healthy Ronald Acuña Jr. clears them all by a country mile. He’s capable of producing 9-10 WAR in a single season, and he only produced 2.1 last year. That’s how much better a Braves team, that won 101 games a year ago, can get just by having a healthy Ronald Acuña Jr. in their lineup. If these four games are any indication, the rest of the league is in for a rude awakening.
Photo: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire
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