News / atlanta braves
Not gonna lie here. I'm not a huge fan at all of this move. The Atlanta Braves are currently kicking ass after sweeping the New York Mets on the road and are back home finally after a long road trip which sees them in 1st place in the NL East. The clubhouse chemistry is great right now with young studs (Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuña Jr., Mike Sorotka, etc.) mixed in with the vets (Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, Kurt Suzuki, etc.) and all of a sudden you want to throw in Joey Bats to the mix?
It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me but then again I'm not the Braves GM who has a personal history with Joey Bag of Donuts in Toronto. Maybe the "over-the-hill outfielder converting to thirdbase coming off a horrific season in which nobody wanted to touch him this offseason" player will suddenly revert to his prime of 10 years ago. Yeah that sounds perfectly logical right?
Today was suppose to be the home debut of one young Ronald Acuña Jr but now we get the addition of Joey Bag of K's in the lineup and hitting 5th. Let's see how it all pays off and if the Braves can keep the good juju going tonight at SunTrust Park.
In the mean time get your Ozzie Fest and Acuña Matata shirts today at SportsCrack.com.
Coming to a ballpark near you this spring is the greatest show we simply call "OZZIE FEST." This helmet flying, slugging, diving, high fiving, scoring and hitting machine has taken over this spring. Show your love for Atlanta's #1 tomahawk chopping young phenom with this original OZZIE FEST t-shirt.
🚨🚨 TAPE MEASURE SHOT FOR THE PHENOM 🚨🚨@Braves prospect Ronald Acuña Jr. hits his first career home run 416 feet into the second deck. Welcome to the future.#Braves | #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/KdAvqTzWwL— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) April 26, 2018
Atlanta Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. hit the first homer of his career in his second game, leading off the second inning against the Reds with a long blast to left field. I think that ball would have landed in Kentucky if the Braves fan didn't catch it in the upper deck. Absolutely smoked it. The first of many home runs to come for King Acuna Matata.
As soon as Acuna swung my eyes got real wide...
Baseball, you’ve been put on notice.— MLB (@MLB) April 26, 2018
Acuña Jr. is the REAL deal. pic.twitter.com/ZxHkgjpPKX
MLB's #1 prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. made his presence known early vs the Yankees with this absolute Hiroshima bomb off of Masahiro Tanaka. Acuna Jr is batting in the 5 hole today and is 2-2 so far with a stolen base following yesterday's 2-4 with 2 RBIs and a stolen base performance in the leadoff spot. The Braves won't start Acuna Jr on Opening Day because they are cheap and would rather delay his free agency 7 years down the road but this dude better be up in Atlanta fast. He's too damn good to keep in the minors and I would love to see him plugged in at the 2 hole behind Ender Inciarte with Freddie Freeman providing protection.
Top MLB Prospect Ronald Acuna arrives early to Braves Spring Training hoping to make the Opening Day roster
I'm going to try to keep my fanboy excitement down as much as possible but I feel like I need to go on record here: Ronald Acuna is going to be a superstar. I'm not talking 5 or 10 years down the road for MLB's #1 overall prospect I'm talking this summer at SunTrust Park.
Acuna will be what Aaron Judge was with the Yankees last summer. Acuna's 20-year-old baby face is going to be everywhere. I haven't been this excited for a Braves prospect since Andruw Jones came up in the mid 90's.
Last year Acuna was the minor league baseball player of the year after hitting .325/.374/.522 across three levels of affiliates in the Braves system. Along with his 60 extra base hits and 44 steals Acuna plays a terrific centerfield but will more than likely play a corner OF position in Atlanta with Gold Glove winner Ender Inciarte entrenched in center. Still in his teens at the time Acuna has played three years now in the Braves minor league system since being signed out of Venezuela and has shown remarkable improvement at every level.
Of course one could argue it would be the prudent business decision for the Braves to keep Acuna in the minors after breaking spring training camp. This would save the Braves a year of service time if they call him up in May. Basically it would delay Acuna's free agency year to 2025 instead of 2024. But if Acuna is as good as people think the Braves better have a long term contract in the works way before free agency looms. Which is why I believe if Acuna crushes it in Spring Training as I expect he will he needs to be in the starting line up come April in Atlanta.
“I showed up early to try and win this roster spot and prove that I’m ready and give it my all,” said Acuna. This isn't Acuna's first visit to Braves spring training camp in Orlando. Last year he played in 13 Grapefruit league games and hit .296 in 27 at-bats. “I was hoping they would invite me to come to the spring training camp and give me an opportunity to fight for a roster spot,” he said.
If the Braves want to create some excitement for this season after 4 long rebuilding years it would be nice to see Acuna in a #24 jersey come spring. He's proven he can already hit at AAA Gwinnett so a little bit more of minor league seasoning isn't gonna do much but show that the Braves are being cheap. A young lineup with Ender, Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, and Acuna would put a lot of asses in the seats with a lot of runs on the board.
P.S - Acuna you aren't fooling me with this "No speaka English" Vladimir Guerrero act you got going. 3 years of traveling in buses all around the Southeast will teach you all you need to know about the English language. It will also teach a lot about whiskey and women but that's another story for another day.
If you are a Braves fan this was the one highlight from last night's rout by the hands of Bryce Harper and the Nationals losing 14-4.
Freddie Freeman set an Atlanta Braves franchise record by reaching base for the 12th consecutive time by hitting a solo shot into the SunTrust Park fountain just beyond the centerfield fence.
Freeman's 6th home run of the year kept his scorching hot bat going where his OPS is at a ridiculous 1.453 while he leads the majors in batting average at .440 and on base percentage at .533. Even with Freeman's 6 HRs, 4 doubles and 1 triple he only has 8, yes 8 RBIs, batting 3rd in the lineup.
Why only 8 RBIs? Because the man batting in the 2 spot aka Dansby Swanson has been horrible the first two weeks of the season (155 OBP) and simply can't get on base to set the table for MVFreeman.
Brian Snitker gets paid handsomely to manage the Braves albeit only a one year contract so he needs to do the right thing and drop Dansby in the order while either putting either Nick Markakis (367 OBP) or Brandon Phillips (362 OBP) in the 2 spot in front of Freeman. It's an absolute crime for Freeman to only have 8 RBIs.
With Matt Kemp coming off the 10-day DL today my hope would be the top of the order will be:
1) Ender Inciarte (started slow but slowly heating up)
2) Brandon Phillips
3) Freddie Freeman
4) Matt Kemp
5) Nick Markakis
Roll with this lineup for at least a week while dropping Dansby to 7 or 8 in the lineup and see where your chips fall.
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