In an interview with MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, Ronald Acuna stated that he was aware of the possibility that he may not be on the opening day roster for the Atlanta Braves.
The reason that Acuna may not be on the opening day roster is for the Atlanta Braves to gain an extra year of team control of Acuna. As Mark Bowman pointed out in his article, the Atlanta Braves wouldn’t be the first team to do this with a rising star. The Houston Astros delayed George Springer and his call-up date, and the Chicago Cubs delayed Kris Bryant’s arrival.
"“I’ve talked to some people, and I think the debate is whether they should keep me [with Triple-A Gwinnett] for a couple weeks or a month or however that works, contractually, to benefit the team,” Acuna said through an interpreter. “I’ve tried not to focus on any of that. My goal is just to compete for the roster spot and hopefully make the team.” – Ronald Acuna in an interview with Mark Bowman at Chopfest."
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With Acuna’s understanding why he may not get called up immediately shows that the young kid already has a certain amount of professionalism. By Acuna stating “or however that works” tells me that he is not focused on Atlanta’s decision to keep him in the minors, but that he is focused on playing baseball, no matter where he is.
Some players are not as understanding as Acuna with a teams decision to keep him out of the major leagues for a little while. After earning the #1 ranking in Baseball America’s prospect ranking, and #2 on MLB.com’s ranking, it would be understandable that a top prospect might be frustrated with not getting called up ASAP. But Acuna is completely transparent with everything, which makes it all the better.
So it could be a couple of extra weeks… but we expect it will be worth the wait!