Braves' Acuna promoted to Double-A

Teenage outfielder, No. 92 overall prospect hit .287 with 14 steals

Ronald Acuna's 14 stolen bases through May 8 are third in the FSL and two short of his single-season high. (Rick Nelson/MiLB.com)

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com | May 9, 2017 3:28 AM

The Atlanta Braves once again have shown a willingness to aggressively promote young talent.

Nineteen-year-old Ronald Acuna is on the move to Double-A, according to Class A Advanced Florida hitting coach Carlos Mendez.

"He got called up after [Monday's] game," Mendez said. "We're going to miss him, but that's exactly what you want to see. In player development, you always want to see them go to the next level."

The Braves' No. 7 prospect, No. 92 overall , hit .287/.336/.478 with 14 steals, five triples, three homers, three doubles and 21 runs scored through 28 games in the Florida State League. Last year, in his first crack at a full-season circuit, he batted .311/.387/.432 for Class A Rome, but was limited to just 40 games because of midseason thumb surgery.

He made up for the missed time by spending November and December in the Australian Baseball League, where he went 27-for-72 (.375) with 13 stolen bases over 20 games.

MiLB include

Last year, Atlanta turned heads by starting Ozzie Albies -- then 19 -- with Double-A Mississippi and promoting him to Triple-A Gwinnett by the end of April. Albies, though, was back in the Southern League by June 30, and he finished the season there.

This year, top pitching prospect Kolby Allard skipped Class A Advanced and made the jump to Double-A. That gamble paid off, he was named Pitcher of the Week for the Southern League on Monday.

According to MLB.com's Pipeline, Acuna rates 60 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale in running and fielding, and he's got a 55 bat.

"He's a special kid, but we've got a lot of other special kids on this team," Mendez said.

The others include third baseman Austin Riley (No. 12 in the Braves organization), catcher Alex Jackson (No. 23), outfielder Braxton Davidson (No. 27), right-hander Touki Toussaint (No. 11) and left-handers Luiz Gohara (No. 10) and Ricardo Sanchez (19).

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More