Ronald Acuna is making quick work of the Minor Leagues this season, all while showing a flair for the dramatic.The Braves' No. 7 prospect (No. 86 overall) made an immediate impact Thursday in his Triple-A debut, connecting on a home run for his first hit and then adding two more
Ronald Acuna is making quick work of the Minor Leagues this season, all while showing a flair for the dramatic.
The Braves' No. 7 prospect (No. 86 overall) made an immediate impact Thursday in his Triple-A debut, connecting on a home run for his first hit and then adding two more knocks to lead Gwinnett in a 13-4 rout of Charlotte.
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The home run was the 13th this season across three levels for Acuna, who finished the game 3-for-5 with three runs scored, two RBIs and one walk. It also marked the second time this season that the 19-year-old outfielder has gone deep for his first hit at a new level. He previously did it with Double-A Mississippi on May 9, when he hit a first-inning homer before finishing 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
After striking out swinging on four pitches in his first at-bat, Acuna, who started the game in right field and batted leadoff, put the G-Braves on the board when he opened the top of the third inning with solo homer to the opposite field.
Acuna extended his club's lead with his second Triple-A hit in the fifth inning, lacing the first pitch of the at-bat back up the middle en route to his second RBI.
After drawing a four-pitch walk in his subsequent plate appearance, Acuna collected his third hit of the contest, another hard-hit single, in the seventh inning before lining out to second base in the ninth.
The Braves rewarded Acuna with a promotion to Triple-A after he batted .326/.374/.520 with 24 extra-base hits including nine home runs in 57 games with Mississippi. He also tallied 19 stolen bases and 30 RBIs while scoring 29 runs.
What's more, Acuna's promotion comes less than a week after he opened eyes while representing the World Team in the SiriusXM All-Stars Futures Game, where he showed off his cannon arm and recorded the event's top exit velocity of 112.3 mph.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.