Thanks to a tweet by the Gwinnett Stripers, Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, we were reminded this morning of a great day in baseball history. Ronald Acuña, Jr., then the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball, made his Triple-A debut this day in 2017.
Acuña got the call up to Triple-A and immediately made an impact for the Stripers. The highly-touted outfielder went 3-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored and two RBIs as Gwinnett defeated the Charlotte Knights 13-4.
Acuña would go on to be named Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year in 2017 after batting .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs and 82 RBIs across three levels of the Minor Leagues.
He began the 2017 season with the Florida Fire Frogs before being promoted t the Mississippi Braves and eventually the Gwinnett team. Acuña got the call up to the Major Leagues on April 25, 2018, making another immediate impact with Atlanta as he went on to win National League Rookie of the Year.
Acuña came into Spring Training this year with the goal of a 50 home run/50 stolen base season. Obviously with the season shortened to 60 games, that's not likely. But it is still possible we could see Acuña go 20/20 this year, which would put him in impressive company.
Acuña needs to hit 13 home runs and steal 17 bases in order to join Alex Rodriguez, Mike Trout and Andruw Jones as the only players with 80 home runs and 70 stolen bases by age 22.
Per MLB.com's Mark Bowman, if Acuña matches his pace from last season, he'll hit 16 home runs and steal 22 bases.
We are witnessing history as it happens, and as a Braves fan, it's a lot of fun having a guy like Acuña on your team.
Matthew Atkins, Journalist and Baseball fan.