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Acuna, Braves enter spring looking to repeat 2018 success

Ronald Acuna Jr. helped the Atlanta Braves speed up their rebuilding schedule in 2018, when they have been the surprise NL East champions.

As the Braves enter their last spring coaching at their Disney elaborate in Kissimmee, Florida, the following problem is to transfer nearer to their very first Planet Collection because 1999.

Acuna received the NL rookie of the year and positioned 12th in the MVP voting inspite of actively playing in only 111 games as a 20-year-old remaining fielder. The native of Venezuela confirmed all the applications — energy, speed and defense — that make him the following deal with of the franchise.

Freddie Freeman, the existing franchise participant who was fourth in that MVP vote, said he can not wait to see what Acuna can do in a full season.

“I really don’t know what that guy’s ceiling is,” Freeman said last thirty day period. “He is particular. … It is really likely to be exciting to enjoy him participate in every single one day. If he can keep healthy, it is likely to be large.”

The Braves bolstered their lineup by signing third baseman Josh Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, to a one particular-year, $23 million deal. They also extra veteran catcher Brian McCann, bringing him again to the place he released his job, and re-signed proper fielder Nick Markakis.

Below are some places to enjoy for in the course of spring coaching:

NEW Seem

A remaining calf pressure spoiled Donaldson’s 2018 season with Toronto and Cleveland. The Braves are gambling Donaldson, 33, returns to his peak a few-year degree of 2015-17, when he averaged 37 homers. “We were not looking at third foundation,” said general manager Alex Anthopoulos. “We just wanted a huge bat with energy.” McCann replaces Kurt Suzuki in sharing time with catcher Tyler Bouquets. Donaldson pushes Johan Camargo out of third foundation and into a super utility role. Camargo and Charlie Culberson deliver superb flexibility to the bench, a weak place in 2018. Substitution starters should be found for Anibal Sanchez and Brandon McCarthy, who blended for 39 begins last season.

ROOKIES TO Watch

Right-hander Touki Toussaint could acquire a rotation place this spring. His teammates rave about his prospective, which is developed about a curveball which guarantees to be his signature pitch. Left-handers Kolby Allard and Luiz Gohara and proper-handers Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson also will compete for commencing jobs. 3rd baseman Austin Riley may possibly be the motive the Braves have been fascinated in only a one particular-year deal with Donaldson. Outfielder Cristian Pache, an outstanding defensive participant, is the organization’s other leading position prospect.

They’re Set

Protection stays a potent stage. The outfield incorporates 2018 Gold Glove winners Markakis and Inciarte. Acuna, who could possibly finally transfer to proper field or middle field, also is a potent defensive participant. Freeman also received a Gold Glove when finishing fourth in the MVP voting. Ozzie Albies, a doable long term Gold Glove winner, confirmed astonishing energy with 24 homers and is a lock at second foundation.

They’re NOT

Mike Foltynewicz emerged as an All-Star and No. 1 starter last season, and midseason addition Kevin Gausman helped solidify the middle of the rotation. Otherwise, a lot of issues continue being in the rotation, specifically just after Julio Teheran was sent to the bullpen for the playoffs. Younger starters not able to go deep into games could set a major drain on a bullpen which has its have issues. Arodys Vizcaino’s sore shoulder stored him from dealing with the full-time closer’s job, when A.J. Minter battled manage concerns at situations.

ON DECK

Braves pitchers and catchers have their very first training on Feb. 16, and the team’s very first full-squad training is Feb. 21. They plan to transfer into a new spring coaching facility in North Port, Florida, close to Sarasota, in 2020 and have scheduled their remaining exhibition match this spring at the new facility on March 24. The Braves open the season on March 28 at Philadelphia. Atlanta’s home opener is April 1 against the Cubs.

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