Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Acuna goes deep once again for Braves

No. 2 overall prospect continues impressive spring with third blast
Ronald Acuna belted 21 homers across three levels last season after hitting just four in 42 games in 2016. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)
March 16, 2018

Ronald Acuña Jr. is definitely living up to the hype this's No. 2 overall prospect crushed his second home run in as many games Thursday to help lead the Braves past the Tigers, 8-1, in Grapefruit League action at Champion Stadium.

Ronald Acuña Jr. is definitely living up to the hype this spring.'s No. 2 overall prospect crushed his second home run in as many games Thursday to help lead the Braves past the Tigers, 8-1, in Grapefruit League action at Champion Stadium.

"He's a special player, there's no doubt about it," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "You can see that when you watch him. He's just doing what comes natural, I think. Not trying to be great, just playing his game."
Acuna delivered the big hit in the third inning after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the first. With Freddie Freeman on first base, the 20-year-old outfielder took Detroit starter Mike Fiers deep to left. He grounded out in his final at-bat in the sixth before leaving the game for defensive replacement Jaff Decker.
With dingers in each of his last two Grapefruit League games, Acuna is now batting .417 with three long balls, eight RBIs and four steals. Since the start of March, he is 12-for-23 (.522) with just three strikeouts in 10 games. On a more painful note, he has also been hit by a Major League-leading four pitches.
In other action:
Yankees 9, Pirates 5 (Box)
Tyler Austin, New York's No. 27 prospect, hit a solo shot in his lone at-bat as the Yankees cruised past the Pirates in Tampa. It was Austin's fourth homer of the spring. For Pittsburgh, No. 8 prospect Colin Moran went 0-for-4 with an RBI and a fielding error at third base -- his first in 11 games.
Marlins 7, Mets 6 (Box)
Top Miami prospect Lewis Brinson and No. 8 prospect Isan Díaz -- both acquired from Milwaukee in the Christian Yelich deal -- both went 1-for-3. Brian Miller (No. 12) added an RBI single in his first at-bat of the spring. Mets infielder Luis Guillorme notched a walk and an RBI after taking over for Todd Frazier at third base but committed his fourth error of the spring on an errant throw.
Twins 8, Rays 1 (Box)
Mitch Garver, Minnesota's No. 19 prospect, singled in the second inning and crossed the plate on an Erick Aybar triple two batters later. Twins No. 13 prospect LaMonte Wade Jr entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and worked a walk.
Orioles 1, Cardinals 0 (Box)
Sixth-ranked Baltimore prospect Tanner Scott surrendered one run in a scoreless eighth inning, bringing his spring ERA down to 3.00 over six innings. St. Louis' No. 2 prospect Jack Flaherty took the loss after giving up one run on three hits and two walks while fanning eight in five frames.
Astros 12, Nationals 3 ( Box)
Astros No. 22 prospect Jonathan Arauz went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored and second-ranked Kyle Tucker added two hits and an RBI in the reigning World Series champs' 14th Grapefruit League win. Tucker, a lefty-swinging outfielder, went 2-for-2 and scored a run, bumping his spring average up to .412.
Reds 10, Indians 6 (Box)
Reds No. 5 prospect Tyler Mahle yielded two hits over five scoreless innings in his first Cactus League start. The right-hander sports a 2.45 ERA after five spring appearances. Reds No. 19 prospect Alex Blandino provided an RBI single in the seventh. Indians No. 20 prospect Eric Haase cracked a three-run homer, his second of the spring, and walked.
Royals 14, Dodgers 8 (Box)
Royals No. 18 prospect Ryan O'Hearn and Frank Schwindel both homered twice in a slugfest against the Dodgers. Edwin Ríos, Los Angeles' 12th-ranked prospect, delivered a solo shot, while No. 13 Gavin Lux tripled in his first at-bat of the spring. Second-ranked Alex Verdugo singled and drove in a run for the Dodgers. 
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 5 (Box)
Richard Ureña, Toronto's 11th-ranked prospect, singled and scored a run.
Rangers 6, Brewers 5 (Box)
Sixth-ranked Milwaukee prospect Brett Phillips finished 1-for-3 with a double, while No. 19 Jake Gatewood doubled and scored a run in his lone plate appearance.
White Sox 7, Angels 2 (Box)
Chicago's No. 18 prospect Ryan Cordell hit an RBI triple -- his second of the spring -- during a four-run third inning. Aaron Bummer (No. 20) allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth. Angels 30th-ranked prospect Connor Justus singled in his lone at-bat.
Mariners 6, Athletics 2 (Box)
Fifth-ranked Seattle prospect Braden Bishop raised his Cactus League average to .400 after notching two hits and scoring a run. The outfielder also threw out a runner at third base. No. 10 Wyatt Mills pitched a perfect inning.