Braves Promote Ronald Acuna: Fantasy impact

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 25: Ronald Acuna
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 25: Ronald Acuna /

The Braves called up their top prospect Ronald Acuna before Wednesday’s game. Can he carry over his recent Triple-A performance to the majors?

The Atlanta Braves have made some interesting moves this season. Their pitching staff can use some work and they signed Jose Bautista to be their third baseman. However, the one thing they didn’t mess up is calling up their top prospect Ronald Acuna. Fantasy owners have been waiting for this. Should they invest right away?

The short answer is yes. And the reason is simple. You add him now, even if he’s struggling, and reap the rewards for the rest of the season. If you wait until he starts hitting, then you’re already too late. Someone else would have added him and started him and it was probably against you.

Acuna had a rough start to this season after an excellent 2017 season. He picked it up over the last week, leading to his promotion.

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Between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A, Acuna combined to hit .325 with 21 home runs, 82 RBIs and 88 runs. He hit .344/9 HR/33 RBI in 54 Triple-A games. Everyone thought he would start the season with the Braves because of this and his play during spring training.

Unfortunately, this season did not start the same. In his first 10 games in Triple-A, Acuna hit .175 with a homer and two RBIs. Then, the weather got warmer and so did his bat. In his last seven games, he hit .310 with three walks and seven strikeouts. No power or RBIs, which is interesting, but he started making contact with the ball.

As of this writing, Acuna was 0-for-3 with a strikeout and four men left on base. He was sixth in the batting order, behind third baseman Johan Camargo. Let’s not freak out. Gleyber Torres went 0-for-7 before getting his first hit.

The Braves have a good offense with Ozzie Albies, Ryan Flaherty, Dansby Swanson and of course Freddie Freeman all hitting well to start the season. Acuna should be able to drive in a few runs. This move does take Preston Tucker out of the lineup, so you can sell your shares of him.

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Picking up a prospect right away comes with some risks. If he hits, then congratulations. If he doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world. These players are young and will adjust to the big-league level of pitching in due time. Pick him up.