Will Ronald Acuna Jr. Return Stronger Than Ever?

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Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves. Justin K. Aller/Getty Images/AFP

Ronald Acuna Jr. didn’t get to celebrate a World Series Championship the way he wanted. The Braves finally had momentum in the postseason and yet, one of their best players wasn’t even in the lineup.

Acuna Jr. was recovering from a torn ACL he had gotten earlier in the year. The Braves, at the time, weren’t performing near expectations and had just lost Acuna Jr. for the rest of the season.

Instead of quitting, the Braves went out and signed a bunch of underperforming players that Atlanta figured could be solid pieces to add to the ball club for the remainder of the season.

Little did Atlanta know that those players like Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario, and Joc Pederson would end up lifting the Braves to a World Series along with former MVP Freddie Freeman.

But that’s what happened. The Braves lost Acuna so they built a new outfield and that outfield helped push the Braves to the promised land. If Acuna wasn’t injured, who knows what would’ve happened.

The Braves might’ve got a couple of these players or might’ve looked at adding more pitching or something. It’s hard to know and we’ll never know, but Acuna Jr.’s absence was kind of the reason why the Braves went and won the World Series.

The Braves Overcame the Loss of Acuna

Of course, Acuna Jr. would’ve been a huge portion of the Braves’ success if he had been around, but those other players that carried the Braves might not have been there.

Either way, before his 2021 concluded, Acuna was batting .283 with 24 home runs and 52 RBI’s. His OPS was .990 and he was on pace for one of his best seasons ever in a Braves uniform.

Like every player, slumps will happen but ultimately, Acuna was playing up until July and already had 24 home runs with 52 RBI’s. He started the season red hot but cooled off a bit. It seemed like he was just getting back on track prior to his injury.

Currently, Acuna Jr. is already in the batting cage and getting back to his old self. The Braves will love to have his bat back in the lineup, especially if they’re able to re-sign Freddie Freeman to a long-term deal.

Freeman and Acuna have been a big portion of the Braves’ success in recent years along with Ozzie Albies. Those three guys are basically the core of the Braves and have plenty of chemistry together.

Acuna is already in the batting cages as we speak and is doing bat flips. He clearly wants to get back out there and perform for the Braves. He has a passion for the game and didn’t lose it after his torn ACL.

After the Braves won a World Series, there will be added pressure on Acuna Jr. to help the Braves get back to the big stage. I’m sure he can handle the pressure, but he’s now going to have to fight the Mets for the NL East Division and the Mets have added every single big name there is to offer between players and staff members.

It’ll be exciting watching Acuna Jr. back out on the field, but the added pressure of trying to get back to the World Series with Acuna Jr. might not help his case.