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Braves Team News

Right now, red-hot Acuna is an impossible out

Gausman weighs in: 'He gets out of bed and hits triples'
March 13, 2019

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Ronald Acuña Jr. will make another out at some point this spring. But the reigning NL Rookie of the Year is really making it tough on opposing pitchers in Grapefruit League play. He hit for the cycle in four consecutive at-bats stretched over two games,

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Ronald Acuña Jr. will make another out at some point this spring. But the reigning NL Rookie of the Year is really making it tough on opposing pitchers in Grapefruit League play.

He hit for the cycle in four consecutive at-bats stretched over two games, with a double and triple in his first two trips to the plate on Wednesday, coupled with a homer and single in his last two plate appearances on Tuesday.

“We saw it last year when he got locked in,” said Braves bench coach Walt Weiss. “The sky is the limit. He’s an exciting kid to watch. He looks like he’s in midseason form. I hope he can stay right where he is.”

But Acuna wasn’t content to stop there. In his final trip to the plate on Wednesday, he singled to complete a 3-for-3 day. He has now hit safely in eight consecutive at-bats and reached base nine straight times. He upped his Grapefruit League batting average to .429.

“He’s pretty good,” observed Kevin Gausman, who started in Wednesday's 8-4 loss to the Nationals. “He just kind of wakes up, gets out of bed and is able to hit triples. He’s fun to watch every single day.”

Weiss said that Acuna is a natural.

“The kid was born to play baseball,” Weiss said. “He has the perfect body, the perfect mentality to play this game. He enjoys playing it. He’s an exciting player.”

Camargo, Riley play OF

You can never have enough versatility as a Major League player these days. Johan Camargo and Austin Riley know that and took to the outfield for the first time with that in mind.

Camargo, a backup infielder, started in right field while Riley, the Braves’ future third baseman who played his first spring game at first base less than a week ago, started in left.

“It was a tough day to play the outfield, the wind was really blowing,” Weiss noted. “I thought they handled themselves well. Not a ton of action, but Riley had a tough chance on the ball he had to come running in on. The wind really held it up. He ends up making a running catch coming in.

“They handled a few chances on both the corners and they looked fine.”

Up Next

The Braves are off Thursday but return to Champion Stadium on Friday to host the Marlins for a 1:05 p.m. ET game. Left-hander Sean Newcomb gets the start for Atlanta. He will be making his fourth Grapefruit League start. In his last time out, Newcomb yielded three hits and three runs over 2 2/3 innings on March 9 against Detroit.