Shockingly, the best prospect in baseball — Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna — is once again hitting like the best prospect in baseball. Who could have possibly seen this coming?
Well, OK, everyone should have seen this coming.
Despite the fact that Acuna opened his Triple-A season going 0-for-11, his professional track record is ridiculously impressive. It should go without saying that 11 at-bats in April don’t tell us much of anything. Acuna slashed .325/.374/.522 across three minor league levels last year, improving at every stop, ultimately finishing with 21 homers and 44 steals. He then dominated the Arizona Fall League, becoming the youngest MVP in AFL history. This spring, he destroyed the Grapefruit League, hitting an obscene .432/.519/.727 with four bombs and four stolen bases.
So it seemed a bit silly for the Braves to delay Acuna’s arrival in the majors one more day than was absolutely necessary for business-of-baseball reasons, but his imperfect start gave the team a flimsy excuse.
(Please don’t come at me with Preston Tucker. Yes, Tucker started the season with a bang, but he now has three hits and zero walks over his last 24 plate appearances. He’s not blocking Acuna.)
In recent days, Acuna’s bat is doing what it has always done. He’s reached base a dozen times over his last seven games. On Tuesday night, he went 2-for-4 with a walk and an exceedingly well-struck home run…
Again, he’s fine — better than fine, actually. If there was ever a buy-low window on this kid, it’s closing. Act fast.