Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Good grief. Ronald Acuna does it again - and AGAIN

It’s getting silly now, but silly stuff can be fun stuff. Ronald Acuna just hit a leadoff home run. He did that twice yesterday. He also did it Saturday. On Sunday, he sort of rested: His homer that day came with two out in the second.

To answer the obvious question: No, I’ve never seen anything like this, and neither have you. Because there has never been anything like this -- a 20-year-old rookie hitting four leadoff homers in five games. And for those keeping score at home, Acuna has hit seven homers in eight games, and he’s still got three or four plate appearances to go tonight.

I wish I could think of something more to say, but I’d just be repeating myself (albeit even more hysterically) from this morning. I’ll just offer this: My first glimpse of Acuna came in Syracuse, N.Y., last July. I was on the way to Cooperstown for John Schuerholz’s induction, and I’d ended up at a Triple-A game because it was to be Dansby Swanson’s first action since his demotion.

The Gwinnett Braves -- now the Stripers -- fielded a pretty fair lineup. Their first four hitters were Ozzie Albies, Swanson, Acuna and Rio Ruiz. I’d been hearing John Coppolella rave about Acuna for two years, so I was prepared to be duly impressed. But I didn’t say to myself, “Self, I’m duly impressed.” Instead I said, “Whoa.”

On a Triple-A field with luminaries around him, Acuna jumped out. He seemed too big and too fast for the highest level of the minors. He looked ready for prime time then, which -- given that he’d begun the year in Single-A -- was saying something.

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I’ve seen some pretty fair Braves come up over time -- Chipper, Javy, Andruw, Furcal, Heyward, Freeman -- but only one of them made me go, “Whoa.” And now, a year later, he’s doing it a nightly basis.

And that’s it. I got nothing else. Unless he hits another his next time up. Which he probably will.

Update: So, not quite his next time up. But in the seventh inning, Ronald Acuna hit a three-run homer. That’s eight in eight games. That’s four in two days. And here we ask: Why on Earth are the Marlins throwing him a pitch that doesn’t bounce?

About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.

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