In a time that was ultimately a productive one particular for the Atlanta Braves, it was their rookie, Ronald Acuna, who led the way and pushed this workforce again into the playoffs following winning the Countrywide League East division. Coming off a productive time in his individual suitable, Acuna is wanting to strengthen on his 2018 marketing campaign for 2019.
Getting a rookie calendar year that quantities to a 4.09 WAR is quite outstanding, specially for a workforce that was flying by the seat of their trousers in the course of the time, participating in up to a stage that not a lot of persons experienced envisioned them to. Acuna turned into the proverbial workforce chief with to start with baseman Freddie Freeman, foremost the demand when staying the team’s spark plug when they desired it the most.
Hitting for a .293 regular is outstanding for a rookie, and he amassed that variety more than 111 games and 108 begins. Only obtaining performed in 3 games coming off the bench is unheard of, still Acuna was location benchmarks for gamers all throughout the league very last time.
On top rated of his regular, he also hit 26 residence runs and experienced 127 hits, towards only 123 strikeouts in 433 at-bats. A 28 per cent strikeout-fee is regular, but for a rookie who experienced no prior MLB plate expertise prior to very last time, it is an outstanding feat.
For 2019, the sights have to be set to get again to the playoffs for Atlanta, which will be no quick undertaking. The NL East has now souped up its rosters, as the New York Mets (Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz), Washington Nationals (Patrick Corbin) and Philadelphia Phillies (J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura) have all manufactured essential actions to all issue into the photo for the divisional crown for this future time.
The lone workforce that figures to be all by by itself again in very last put is the dumpster fire that is the Miami Marlins, victims of shooting themselves in the foot. Getting produced a farm procedure that generated Jose Fernandez (RIP), Giancarlo Stanton, 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Realmuto shows their determination to scouting, but how immediately these property have been torn down thanks to the franchise’s willingness to shift on for some cause from their core is an absolute travesty.
With Acuna and his Braves, the plans will revolve around his performance and how he is ready to figure out MLB pitching this time, as his opponents will have a much better way to handle him at the dish. With that in thoughts, below are 3 parts that Acuna should have his sights set on for 2019.
Hitting for earlier mentioned .300
While not an extreme intention, the thought of obtaining a whole time when you get a hit 3 out of 10 instances at the plate is essential to an general team’s good results. With Acuna helping spearhead the offensive assault for Atlanta, he have to direct by illustration.
Only 7 factors off, participating in in a larger set of games this time will open Acuna up to around 100 more at-bats, making it critical for him to strengthen his offensive solution. By obtaining a WAR earlier mentioned 4, that shows that even in a scaled-down sample measurement, Acuna’s influence on the workforce goes considerably over and above just his data.
This intention is quite affordable to execute, but the workforce may conclusion up transferring him around in the batting order, presenting the next-calendar year player with more troubles to get over.
Become a larger risk on the foundation paths
16 steals does not even start off to scratch the floor for Acuna, whose blazing velocity was revealed more in the gaps he coated in left subject for the Braves. By staying more energetic in stealing bases, this opens up more chances for situational hitting, when presenting himself as more of a risk on the foundation paths.
Acuna has the skill to swipe 35 or more bases in 2019, a variety that he should shoot for suitable out of the gate. He stole, on regular, a foundation every 9.3 per cent of the time when he obtained on foundation, so anytime he obtained a hit or gained a free of charge pass, he stole a pass just beneath 10 per cent of the time.
If he can raise that variety up to at minimum amount 15 to 17 per cent more than a larger sample measurement of at-bats, then he should be ready to very easily get to that 30-35 steal threshold.
Double your free of charge passes
45 walks in 433 at-bats equals out to 10.4 per cent of his at-bats resulted in a free of charge pass, not bad for a rookie attempting to show patience at the plate when obtaining the urge to swing for the following town more than. But this variety is envisioned for a rookie, and not for a next-calendar year veteran.
While ‘veteran’ may not be the most effective terminology to use when describing Acuna, he received sufficient expertise very last time to clearly show that no second is far too large for him, and that is why his offense is staying place beneath a microscope and dissected for following time.
By earning at minimum amount 90 walks following calendar year, he will not only be ready to raise his on-foundation percentage, but he can also aid much better his teammates by exhibiting patience at the plate, when also helping spherical the lineup out much better as there will be yet another provided asset who can choose a stroll when desired.
For a rookie to appear in and make the form of influence that Acuna did for the Braves in 2018, his future is incredibly tantalizing to imagine about, specially for Braves fans. He should be a cornerstone in this team’s programs for a lot of, a lot of decades to appear, and his opportunity has not even been touched still, a testomony to who he truly is now and what he can become as a player.
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