Braves taking time with Acuña's path to bigs

Atlanta GM on top prospect: 'More development isn't going to hurt anybody'

April 18th, 2018

ATLANTA -- Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos has closely monitored Ronald Acuña Jr.'s results and the reports he gets from staff members on a daily basis. Thus far, he has not seen enough to get the sense the highly touted prospect is ready to make the jump to the Major League level.
"We're looking for Ronald to just get hot at this point," Anthopoulos said. "More development isn't going to hurt anybody. We prefer to call players up when they're playing at a high level, and when they're locked in."
Acuna highlighted his second multi-hit game of the season when he hit his first homer for Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday night. But he went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts during Wednesday afternoon's win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"I've been told he'll expand [the strike zone] and chase," Anthopoulos said. "The swing-and-miss has been there and the strikeout total has been higher than we would like."
Through his first 11 games with Gwinnett, Acuna has hit .182 (8-for-44) with two extra-base hits and 17 strikeouts. He stands as the game's second-best prospect and the Braves' No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline and there is no doubt he has the potential to be one of the best young players baseball has seen within the past couple decades.
But thus far, the 20-year-old outfielder has not provided clear indication he is ready for the challenge he will face when brought to the Major League level.
"The numbers may not look great, but we can get reports he is hitting the ball hard or that his at-bats and takes are good," Anthopoulos said. "We haven't gotten those reports that his swing is good. This is one of those cases where [the numbers and reports] coincide. We still love him and still think he's going to be an outstanding player. He's not locked in right now and the numbers are certainly going to back that up."