The 2018 National League Rookie of the Year is a younger, better version of Ozzie Albies, at least offensively. We have a limited sample to evaluate the 21 year old on, but what a sample it is, and it’s not *in*significant. 111 games, 427 plate appearances, and a .293/.366/.552 BA/OBP/SP, including 26 home runs in 433 AB. He stole 16 bases in 21 attempts.
Defensively, Baseball Reference credits him with a -0.1 dWAR. His range factor in Left Field was below the league average, and his 5 errors there were 2nd most in the league. By the eyeball test, he does not appear to be as advanced on his routes to the baseball as he is a hitter. Let’s keep in mind that Ronald was only 20 years old last season, and most likely will improve on the routes with more repetitions and experience, particularly since he had limited minor league experience in LF.
Acuna played mostly Center Field in the minors, and is widely acknowledged to have the ability to play there. If Ronald moves to CF in the future, he should give the Braves a great comparative advantage there, offensively.
Acuna rocketed through the minors, with only 134 games played above A+ ball, but everything in his limited record there supports the notion that he will hit, (AA = 243 PA, .326/.374/.520; AAA = 344 AB, .305/.364/.466) and I’m on board. (CNN will not be interrupting regularly scheduled broadcasting to bring us this breaking news.)