If Ronald Acuña Jr. goes down who moves up to the leadoff spot for the Braves?

Ronald Acuna Jr. is undoubtley the Braves leadoff man when he is healthy. However, the superstar has missed some time in his career due to injury. If that happens in 2024, who will lead off?
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Yesterday the Atlanta Braves Spring Training opener started with a bang. Michael Harris II launched a ball into orbit on the very first pitch. This is something that Atlanta Braves fans are used to seeing from Ronald Acuña Jr. The reigning NL MVP will undoubtably be the Braves leadoff man when healthy, but if he ever has to miss time due to injury, could Michael Harris fill that gap?

The MVP is still the man, but is a young star able to step in if needed?

We cannot make it clear enough that Acuña Jr. will not be moving from the top spot in the order. The Braves have tried that in the past to give him an opportunity to drive in more runs but the production from the team was never the same. The National League MVP is best when he is the first name on the lineup card.

Acuña has missed time due to injury in the past and the IL has no respect of person. With that being said Brian Snitker would have a couple options at the top of the order if Acuna is out or just resting (which is rare). Ozzie Albies and Michael Harris II come to mind.

Three years ago, it would be Ozzie Albies who would take on this role simply because of his versatility and ability to produce runs from both sides of the plate. Now that Michael Harris II is entering his third season in the big leagues, he is becoming more comfortable at the plate.

Throughout his career, Harris has hit in the lower part of the order the majority of the time. His responsibility over the last couple of years was to flip the lineup card over to the top of the order and let them hit with runners on base. His experience in this role could help him tremendously if he has to make that transition.

If Harris had to move up to the top of the order, it would also keep Atlanta's run producers such as Riley, Olson and Ozuna in the middle of the lineup where they belong.

Even though he is not your "traditional" leadoff hitter, Ronald Acuna Jr. will likely be in the leadoff spot for the remainder of his career. He can cause chaos the moment he steps in the batter's box. Hopefully we will never know, but if Acuña needs to be replaced at the top of the lineup card in 2024, look for money Mike to fill that need.

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