Ozzie Albies: “I expect him to better than 2019 Ronald [Acuna]” in 2023

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The anticipation is palpable in Braves Country for Ronald Acuna Jr.’s 2023 campaign.

The Venezuelan superstar has been one of the most exciting players in baseball since his near-unanimous Rooke of the Year season. Acuna is sensational, but that level of play was put on hold in 2021. Amid an MVP year, recording a .990 OPS, 52 RBIs, 24 home runs, and over 4 WAR in about half a season, Acuna suffered a season-ending knee injury.

In his first season back, he was a shell of himself. Acuna posted career-worst metrics across the board, and it wasn’t particularly close. Still, the hype train for his return in 2023 is monstrous. Acuña says he’s feeling like his MVP self againmembers of the Braves organization expect great things, MLB.com has predicted he’ll take home the MVP award, and gambling odds reflect his potential to bring home the award for the National League.

Add Ozzie Albies, his best friend on the team, to the growing list of hype men. In an article from The Athletic, Ozzie Albies said: “I expect him to be better than the 2019 Ronald, when he went off. 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.”

In case you forgot, Acuna’s 2019 campaign was the one that established himself as one of the best players on the planet. He flirted with 40 home runs and 40 stolen bags, recording a .281/.376/.550 slash line while playing great defense in the field, accumulating 5.4 fWAR. And those stats don’t even come close to what he was on pace to do in 2021 before his injury.

Acuna is oozing with talent, and it seems like he’s back to the confident player Braves Country had become accustomed to seeing. In the Venezuelan Winter League, he’s been strutting his stuff after home runs. In 10 games, he hit .441 with a 1.160 OPS. Chase’s stat predictions won’t win Ronald Acuna the MVP, but the superstar outfielder could very easily eclipse these numbers:

Ronald Acuña Jr.’s 2023 Stat Predictions: .280/.387/.520/, .907 OPS, 39 home runs, 90 RBIs, 35 SBs, 5.9 fWAR

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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