Sep 25, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) celebrates in the dugout against the Philadelphia Phillies during the eleventh inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Braves have been among the World Series favorites much of the season as they look to repeat and now Ronald Acuña Jr. is making it more likely.
The Atlanta Braves won the World Series last year for the franchise’s first ring since 1995, but they did so without the brightest of their young stars, Ronald Acuña Jr., in the lineup after his season was ended prematurely due to a knee injury.
While he’s missed time in the 2022 season, Acuña is healthy now with the playoffs approaching. And now he not only looks like he’s going to be on the field for the Braves‘ push to go back-to-back with World Series victories, but he seems like he’s positioning himself to help carry Atlanta to that point.
The latest evidence is Acuña’s performance on Tuesday night on the road against the Nationals. Granted, it was against an atrocious Washington pitching staff, but the star outfielder smashed not one but two crucial home runs to help secure a win.
Braves are getting a hot Ronald Acuña Jr. at exactly the right time for another World Series run
While those two home runs were his only hits in five trips to the plate against the Nats, it’s more signs that Acuña is on his way back to superstar form after a midseason slump.
As he was dealing with injuries during the dog days of summer, Acuña was clearly not himself for a while as he hit only .219 with one home run, three doubles and just five RBI in the month of July that included 96 at-bats. In September now, Acuña has hit around .250 still (though he hit .316 with a .404 OBP in August) but has four homers with seven double as well.
There is still room to grow and the Braves will surely take every logical measure to make sure he’s healthy. But we’re seeing signs that Acuña is getting into the form that would make the Braves even more dangerous than they were in last year’s postseason.