If the Atlanta Braves lineup is able to withstand the loss of former NL MVP Freddie Freeman in 2022, they’ll likely need big production from newcomer Matt Olson and playoff hero Eddie Rosario. Another pivotal bat for the defending World Series champions is Venezuelan slugger Ronald Acuña Jr.
The 24-year-old two-time All-Star was limited to 82 games in 2021 after suffering a torn right ACL in July, but Braves fans got a positive update on Friday regarding the youngster’s rehab status.
Per Bowman, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker is optimistic about Acuña Jr.’s pending return to the diamond.
“He’s got to go through the process,” Snitker said. “There (are) timelines the doctors have. He’s doing everything. He’s right where he needs to be at this point in the rehab. Everybody feels really good about where he is at.”
Bowman added that the 2018 Rookie of the Year spent the winter rehabbing in the Los Angeles area and when he arrived to spring training a couple weeks ago, he said he’d play on Opening Day if it were up to him.
After a sensational rookie campaign, Acuña Jr.’s best season thus far came in 2019. That year he led the National League in plate appearances (715), runs scored (127) and stolen bases (37), while collecting 41 home runs, 101 RBIs and 175 hits and posting a .280/.365/.518 slash line.
Acuña Jr. finished fifth in the NL MVP voting in 2019, earned his first of two All-Star nods and grabbed his first of two Silver Slugger awards.