Why the key to Ronald Acuña Jr. returning to form isn't a technical adjustment

Everyone across Major League Baseball was expecting big things from the reigning NL MVP in 2024. So far, Ronald Acuna Jr. has not lived up to the hype. Let’s take a look at some things that could help him return to form. 

Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

A season ago the Atlanta Braves shattered numerous MLB records from an offensive standpoint. Ronald Acuna Jr. was the main contributor to this success thanks to 40+ homers, 70+ stolen bases and 100+ RBIs. Now that we are midway through the month of May, he is not even close to this pace. 

Being realistic, we knew that repeating what he did in 2023 would be insanely difficult to do. However, knowing the special talent that Ronald Acuna Jr. is, most people expected him to be at least close. He is currently hitting under .250 from the leadoff spot and has had a drastic decline in power only hitting 3 home runs through his first 40 games. 

The good news for Braves fans is that there is plenty of baseball to be played in 2024 and we know that Acuña can flip a switch just like that. Let’s take a look at what could be the first stepping stone in seeing Ronald return to form. 

Ronald Acuna Jr. is one of those players who holds himself to a high standard. The expectations he has for himself is as high if not higher than that of the fans. It is no secret to him that he is underperforming and the frustration is showing. 

When Acuna is “right” you always see him smiling, staying loose and having fun. Right now this is not the case. It seems that there is less dancing and smiling but more sitting and head shaking. The most bizarre thing about this situation is that even though he led the team in many ways last season, the Braves are still winning baseball games right now even without Acuna’s production. 

Why Ronald needs to manufacture some energy

The first step to returning to form for Ronald Acuña is for him to bring his normal amount of energy regardless of how he is playing. If he will loosen up and celebrate the success of his teammates while he is struggling, that could go a long way. 

It is important for guys in the clubhouse to see Acuna lead by example and remain professional through his struggles. However, that is easier said than done. Although this is Ronald Acuna’s 7th season in the MLB already, he's not accustom to struggling to this degree. He will need to make sure he responds to it appropriately. That begins with understanding the ultimate goal is team success and not to get too caught up in personal struggles. As always that is easier said than done.

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