Looking back on Acuña's torrid stretch at Triple-A
By the end of the 2016 season, Ronald Acuña Jr. had yet to accrue 150 at-bats above Rookie ball. A lot can change in a year. The Braves outfielder spent the first month of 2017 at Class A Advanced Florida, moved up to Double-A Mississippi for 57 games, then arrived
By the end of the 2016 season, Ronald Acuña Jr. had yet to accrue 150 at-bats above Rookie ball. A lot can change in a year.
The Braves outfielder spent the first month of 2017 at Class A Advanced Florida, moved up to Double-A Mississippi for 57 games, then arrived at Triple-A Gwinnett for the remainder of his age-19 campaign on July 13. He took off in August, claiming International League Player of the Month honors. Acuña led the circuit with 47 hits and 24 runs scored and ranked second with a .364 average and 69 total bases. He had separate hitting streaks of nine and 14 games. He blasted four homers during a five-game stretch.
“Even his outs are being hard hit,” G-Braves hitting coach John Moses told MiLB.com that month.
Then ranked as MLB.com’s No. 8 overall prospect, Acuña compiled a .344/.393/.538 slash line with nine homers and 11 stolen bases in 54 games as the only teenager at the Minors’ highest level.
More from Ronald Acuña's POM stretch:
- G-Braves' Acuña takes advantage of green light
- Gwinnett's Acuña homers in third straight game
- Prospect Roundup: Acuña continues to tear up Triple-A
- Robles, Acuña, Keller headline AFL rosters
- MiLB announces August Players of the Month
Acuña went on to earn Arizona Fall League MVP after the season thanks to a .329/.414/.639 slash line in 23 games against some of the best prospects in the game. The offseason didn’t cool him off either; the Venezuela native hit .432 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 16 Grapefruit League games to start 2018. After 60 more at-bats with Gwinnett, he made his Major League debut on April 25.
All Acuña has done since is make an All-Star team, win the National League Rookie of the Year Award and a Silver Slugger, lead Atlanta to two consecutive division titles and sign a $100 million contract. But the slugger's torrid month in Triple-A was one of his biggest steps on the way to getting there.
Joe Bloss is a contributor for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jtbloss.