MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Ronald Acuna. Superstar. Outfielder. 20-year-old.
We’ve witnessed something the last few days that are hard for the most seasoned baseball fan or person to understand. We’ve seen a young kid, who can’t even legally drink yet, take baseball by storm.
The other day on Twitter I wrote that every rebuilding process needs a star. I was referencing Acuna. Some shot back and wrote that the Braves have several stars, likely talking about Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies. Maybe I should have added the word “Super” in front of star.
Yes, Freeman and Albies and even Nick Markakis are stars this year, but the rookie is a Superstar. Again, he’s 20 years old. He’s barely started his big-league career. He’s played in 67 games through Tuesday night, a little over 40-percent of a complete season. And Acuna has hit 19 home runs and driven in 43. Those numbers over a full season – 46 home runs and 104 runs batted in. Again, he’s 20 years old. It’s not only the home runs, although Acuna’s at bats are becoming can’t miss TV, but it’s the outfield play and the base running. And how about that smile? This team is so fun to watch, and it’s mainly because of the youth and energy from guys like Acuna and Albies.
Look at how those two kids – Acuna is 20 and Ozzie is 21 – enjoy playing this game we love so much. They are like brothers, and you can tell that Ozzie in charge. Ozzie is using his seniority as a more veteran player (by only 47 games) to be in control of his younger teammate. We’ve been fortunate in the history of Atlanta Braves baseball to have pairs of stars… like Murphy and Horner…. Justice and Gant… Chipper and Andruw… Heyward and Freeman. And now, Acuna and Albies. They are at the top of the order, and they are at the top of the reasons why the Braves are setting up for a great decade of baseball.
Yes, it’s 2018. We are two years away from the 2020s. Think about how great the next 10 years of Braves baseball might be. I’m not saying we have future Hall of Famers in this group, but this core talent might be as impressive as what we assembled in the late-1980s that made the 1990s the best decade (at least so far) in Braves history. But having a superstar in Ronald Acuna is something special.
Acuna might be the Braves’ version of Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. He might be this good, and he might be worth checking out every single night just to see what he’s going to do in a game. Chances are, it’ll be something to help the Braves win a lot of baseball games.