With the New Year approaching, we need to get ready to see some new faces on the field for the Atlanta Braves in 2018.
At the beginning of the 2017 season, the Atlanta Braves were lacking depth and big league skill in left-handed starting pitching. The only southpaws on the opening day roster in 2017 was starter Jamie Garcia, and relievers Ian Krol and Eric O’Flaherty.
Now, the Braves have made significant leaps in not just the southpaw department, but overall skill department with position players.
The Arizona Fall League MVP and minor league Player of the Year is expected to come into the big leagues and make an immediate impact for the Atlanta Braves. The timing of his callup is going to be questionable for the Braves: if Acuna stays in the minor leagues for a while after the 2018 season starts, the Braves will gain an extra year of team control over him.
The departure of Matt Kemp was very telling that the Braves have plans to put Acuna on the big league roster at some (early) point in time, and it’s going to be fun watching Acuna do his thing starting with spring training.
I don’t expect Acuna to come into his rookie year and put up numbers like Albert Pujols and Mike Trout did in their respective rookie seasons, but let’s just say it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he did.