It was only a matter of time, but Ronald Acuna Jr. is already back to being the best player on the Atlanta Braves in just nine games played.
Ronald Acuna Jr. was telling us from the beginning he was ready and would be just as good as ever. The Atlanta Braves, rightfully so, slow-played his return, but not they’re starting to reap the benefits.
Understandably, even as good as the is, it was a bit of a struggle out of the gate after returning from a serious ACL injury and getting just 19 at-bats at Triple-A.
In his first four games with the Braves this year he was 3-17 with 1 walk and 8 strikeouts and wasn’t really hitting the ball hard.
Since the second game of that doubleheader in New York, he’s 7-19 with 3 walks, and 2 home runs.
Not to mention, he’s hit a ball 100 MPH or harder in each of those five games, including hits at 114.5 MPH, 107.2 MPH, 107.3 MPH, and111.7 MPH.
His average exit velocity is at 93 MPH, right on par with where he’s been the last two seasons.
It’s certainly helped that he’s been playing a lot more regularly lately. And with all the recent off days, he should continue to be in the lineup daily.
The Braves offense has certainly needed him with the recent slumps of Matt Olson, Marcell Ozuna, and at least in the five games, Austin Riley. That’s part of the reason Acuna has only scored 3 runs — two of those on his own home runs.
Once those guys get going again we’ll see the offense really start to take off.
But Acuna is back as the alpha in the lineup. He’s currently third on the team in average (.278), fourth in OBP (.366), second in slugging (.500), and second in OPS (.866) among all players.
William Contreras is the only one ahead of him in slugging and OPS and he has 20 fewer at-bats.
And perhaps most surprisingly — only because he’s coming off an ACL injury — he already leads the team with 4 stolen bases.
It’s so exciting to see Ronald Acuna Jr. out there doing his thing and looking like the best player on the planet once again.