Braves reassign No. 1 prospect Acuna to minors

Top outfield prospect Ronald Acuna was one of six Atlanta Braves players reassigned to minor league camp by the team Monday.

Acuna, 20, shined in spring training, hitting .432 with four home runs, 11 RBIs and four stolen bases in 44 at-bats. By sending him to the minors, the Braves can gain an extra year of contractual control over him before he becomes a free agent if he isn't called up before April 13.

"We feel like it would probably be best overall, from a philosophical standpoint, to give him more development time," Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "There's no manual on how to handle a player's development. They're not all the same."

Catcher Rob Brantley, infielder Christian Colon, outfielder Dustin Peterson and right-handers Josh Graham and Miguel Socolovich were the other Braves reassigned.

Acuna, widely considered the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, hit .325 with 21 home runs, 82 RBIs and 44 stolen bases in 139 games across three minor league levels last season. He played his last 54 games with Triple-A Gwinnett, where he hit .344 with nine home runs, 33 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.

"We said we would keep an open mind, but what we did talk a lot about was he ran through the minor leagues last year," Anthopoulos said. "Having more development time, no one's ever been hurt by that."

The Braves made room in their outfield for Acuna by trading Matt Kemp over the offseason. Lane Adams is set to begin the year in left field and will likely be moved to a bench role when Acuna is called up to the majors. Gold Glover Ender Inciarte is entrenched in center field while veteran Nick Markakis will play right field.

--Field Level Media

03/19/2018 19:53

News, Photo and Web Search