Sports

‘Immediate Impact’: Ronald Acuña Jr. Sets Record, Builds Excitement For Braves

Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. made his major league debut in April. The 20-year-old is being credited with drawing more fans to SunTrust Park.
Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. made his major league debut in April. The 20-year-old is being credited with drawing more fans to SunTrust Park.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press

On Tuesday night, the Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. became the youngest player to hit home runs in five consecutive games.

The 20-year-old made his major league debut in April, and it’s been exciting to watch. The left fielder has shown a talent for home runs that hasn’t stopped yet.

Maury Brown, a national baseball writer and analyst, said the national baseball community has an eye on Acuña.

“When you have a player hitting lead-off and homering in consecutive games the way that he is at age 20, it’s just hard to ignore it,” he said.

Brown called Acuña a “driving force” for the franchise this season, especially as the Braves are trying to win their division.

“The Braves and the Phillies are in a dogfight right now, and I think that he’s absolutely part of that conversation,” Brown said.

He said Acuña is a factor in rising attendance at SunTrust Park and could become a “cornerstone” for the Braves.

“He’s making an immediate impact, and he’s very young,” he said. “So if he doesn’t get hurt and continues on this trajectory, he becomes a franchise piece not only for this year but in the future. And that’s really what you’re looking for, right?”

“People aren’t necessarily going out to see the Braves play. They’re going out to see Acuña and [Ozzie] Albies play,” said I.J. Rosenberg, an Atlanta sports analyst. “And that’s good. That’s a good thing for the team … I think that both kids are creating that type of excitement for this franchise.”

Rosenberg is optimistic about the Braves’ chances this season, saying there’s “no reason” they shouldn’t make it to the World Series.

“I think Atlanta should be pretty excited because this is really happening a year before anybody expected it to,” he said. “If you can get in as a division winner, anything can happen. And I think the Braves have put themselves in a pretty good position.”