The Braves have been well represented on MLB Network’s Top 100 players list.
Sean Murphy was the first member of the team to be announced; Spencer Strider made his debut on the list, and Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II followed as the no. 53 ranked player.
Moreover, Matt Olson fell nearly 20 spots in 2023 after being the no. 26 ranked player last year, but Max Fried rose from 48 to 36 this year. And the latest member of the organization clocked in as the no. 25 ranked player — Ronald Acuña Jr.
The anticipation is palpable in Braves Country, but it’s not just the fans. Everyone in the organization, including Acuna, is expecting big things.
He says he’s feeling like his MVP self again, 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.
Ozzie Albies went as far as to say he expects the 2019 version of Ronald Acuna Jr., in which the Venezuelan superstar 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.
Amazingly, those numbers aren’t even close to what he was on pace to do in 2021 before the injury — a .990 OPS, 52 RBIs, 24 home runs, and over 4 WAR in about half a season.
The Braves are counting on Ronald Acuna to provide more in every facet of the game — fielding, batting, etc. Thankfully, it seems the star outfielder is primed for a massive bounce back campaign.
Injuries may not have kept Acuña from playing, but he was a shell of the player he was before suffering a torn ACL in 2021. It’s something he talked about on numerous occasions throughout the season. He wasn’t comfortable, and it showed. However, all signs this offseason point to Acuña returning to his MVP form in 2023. The further he gets away from the injury, the more comfortable he should feel. If Acuña looks like the pre-injury version of himself in 2023, the rest of the league is in deep trouble.
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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