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Braves' Acuna enjoys perfect day at plate

No. 2 overall prospect belts first spring homer, finishes 3-for-3
Ronald Acuna Jr. was named 2017 Arizona Fall League MVP after hitting .325 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 23 games. (Lynne Sladky/AP)
March 2, 2018

Watch out, Florida. Ronald Acuna Jr. is heating's No. 2 overall prospect went 3-for-3 and hit his first home run of Spring Training on Friday in the Braves' 5-4 loss to the Yankees. He has multiple hits in each of his last three games, going 7-for-10 over that span. 

Watch out, Florida. Ronald Acuna Jr. is heating up.'s No. 2 overall prospect went 3-for-3 and hit his first home run of Spring Training on Friday in the Braves' 5-4 loss to the Yankees. He has multiple hits in each of his last three games, going 7-for-10 over that span. 

The long ball came in Acuna's first at-bat as the 20-year-old outfielder ripped an offering from Masahiro Tanaka the opposite way to right-center field for a two-run shot, his first extra-base hit of the spring. Acuna singled to left and stole a base in the third inning and pulled another base hit in the fifth before being leaving for a defensive replacement an inning later.

The Venezuela native is 8-for-19 (.421) with four RBIs and two steals in his first six spring games. His eight hits lead the Braves and are tied for the most across both Grapefruit and Cactus leagues.
Acuna is coming off a breakout season in which he hit .325/.374/.522 with 21 homers and 44 steals in 139 games across the Minors' three highest levels. Though he's not expected to be on the Braves' Opening Day roster due to service time issues, the toolsy youngster should be in Atlanta before long, and a hot spring could hasten that timeline. 
On the mound, Braves No. 7 prospect Max Fried allowed one run on two hits and a walk over two innings of relief. He struck out three, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who was appearing in a cameo role for his first at-bat anywhere since 2011.
Fourth-ranked Yankees prospect Miguel Andújar continued his own impressive spring, delivering a two-run double.
Red Sox 9, Cardinals 6 (Box)
No. 5 Red Sox prospect Sam Travis made noise by hitting his first and second spring homers on the road at West Palm Beach. The 24-year-old first baseman went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and became the first Boston slugger with multiple homers in the Grapefruit League this campaign. Pitching prospects Ty Buttrey and Trey Ball each chipped in a scoreless inning, while 22nd-ranked Roniel Raudes gave up one run on two hits in his lone frame. Cardinals No. 16 prospect Edmundo Sosa went 2-for-2 with an RBI after entering for Paul DeJong at shortstop.

Tigers 8, Marlins 3 (Box)
Detroit improved to 6-2 in Grapefruit League play behind a pair of scoreless innings from No. 21 prospect Sandy Baez, who allowed one hit and one walk while striking out three. Top Marlins prospect Lewis Brinson went 1-for-3 with an RBI and is batting .385 in six spring games. Ninth-ranked prospect Brian Anderson delivered his first spring homer, a two-run shot in the first off Matthew Boyd, while right-hander Pedro Lopez fanned two of the three batters he faced in a perfect third inning.
Orioles 10, Pirates 8 (Box)
The clubs combined for 27 hits as Baltimore outlasted Pittsburgh in Sarasota. Pirates starter Tyler Glasnow yielded two runs on four hits, including a solo shot by Colby Rasmus, over three innings. The big right-hander struck out six and did not walk a batter. Bucs newcomer Colin Moran went 3-for-4 with a double, raising his spring average to .357. Pirates No. 9 prospect Kevin Kramer singled and walked in two plate appearances and is batting .571. The bulk of the Orioles' damage was done by big leaguers Manny Machado and Tim Beckham, who combined for five hits, including two homers, and seven RBIs.
National 2, Mets (ss) 1 (Box)
Nationals top prospect Victor Robles hit a solo homer in the seventh inning. Fourth-ranked prospect Erick Fedde delivered two innings of scoreless relief, allowing two hits. Mets No. 18 prospect Gavin Cecchini hit his second spring homer in his lone at-bat, while No. 30 prospect Jacob Rhame allowed one hit in a scoreless inning. Tim Tebow singled, his first hit in seven spring at-bats.
Phillies 9, Rays 2 (Box)
No. 2 prospect Scott Kingery smacked a two-run homer, his third of the spring, in the third inning to power the Phillies to their second win. Kingery, who started at second base and batted leadoff, is hitting .417. No. 19 prospect Dylan Cozens came in as a defensive replacement and contributed a hit in two at-bats and No. 25 prospect Drew Anderson closed out the win with a pair of hitless innings. For the Rays, No. 6 prospect Christian Arroyo started at shortstop and went 1-for-2 with a walk to bump his average up to .455. Diego Castillo, Tampa Bay's No. 30 prospect, struck out two in one inning.
Twins 2, Blue Jays 1 (Box)
Twins No. 17 prospect Felix Jorge picked up his second spring save, despite allowing a run on three hits in the ninth as the Twins scored early and held on for their fourth win. Cavan Biggio tripled and No. 29 prospect Max Pentecost went 1-for-2 with an RBI for Toronto. Blue Jays No. 26 prospect Thomas Pannone started and allowed a run on two hits over two innings, striking out three.
Reds 3, Giants 2 (Box)
No. 82 overall prospect Jesse Winker doubled, drove in a run and scored a run out of the second spot in the lineup to help the Reds win in Scottsdale. Reds No. 23 prospect Phillip Ervin singled, plated a run and stole his first base of the spring, while top prospect Nick Senzel went 1-for-2 with a strikeout and committed his first error at shortstop. Third-ranked Giants prospect Steven Duggar hit his second spring homer.
Indians 9, Rangers 4 (Box)
Rangers No. 6 prospect Yohander Méndez was solid in a starting role, allowing one run on three hits while striking out three over three innings. Indians No. 3 prospect Bobby Bradley got the start at first base and went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored, dropping his spring average to .385.
Mariners 4, Brewers 2 (Box)
First baseman Daniel Vogelbach, the Mariners' No. 11 prospect, singled and bashed his first spring homer, a three-run shot in the fifth inning. For the Brewers, shortstop Mauricio Dubón delivered a run-scoring single to raise his spring average to .333. The Honduras native also walked, stole a base and comitted a throwing error -- his third in seven Cactus League games. Brewers top prospect Keston Hiura added a ninth-inning single and is 7-for-15 (.467) this spring.
Rockies 15, D-backs 7 (Box)
Rockies top prospect Brendan Rodgers went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while 20th-ranked Yonathan Daza doubled, walked and scored twice. No. 12 prospect Sam Hilliard doubled and scored a run, seventh-ranked Garrett Hampson singled, walked and scored and No. 18 prospect Brian Mundell had an RBI single and scored a run for Colorado. Fifth-ranked Peter Lambert struck out a pair in two perfect innings. D-backs No. 18 prospect Jared Miller allowed one hit in a scoreless inning.
Cubs 6, Angels 4 (Box)
Cubs No. 14 prospect Mark Zagunis had an RBI single, walked and scored a run. No. 30 prospect Duane Underwood issued one walk in a scoreless frame.
Dodgers 7, White Sox 6 (Box)
Alex Verdugo, Los Angeles' second-ranked prospect, went 2-for-3 with a homer and two runs scored. Dodgers No. 6 prospect DJ Peters smacked a two-run blast in the eighth after taking over for Joc Pederson in left field, while 12th-ranked Edwin Ríos produced a pair of singles.
Padres 13, Royals 5 (Box)
Padres top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. doubled and drove in a run, while third-ranked Luis Urias was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Seventh-ranked Royals prospect Hunter Dozier went 1-for-3.
Mets (ss) 7, Astros 7 (Box)
Tenth-ranked prospect Luis Guillorme delivered a two-run double and a sacrifice fly and drew a walk for the Mets. Corey Oswalt, New York's No. 16 prospect, surrendered three hits, including a two-run homer to reigning World Series MVP George Springer, over two innings out of the bullpen. Astros No. 9 prospect J.D. Davis started at first base and singled and scored a run in two at-bats. The 24-year-old was replaced by Tyler White, who walked and reached on an error.