Braves prospect Max Fried is a league-best 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA in four starts in the Arizona Fall League and leads the league with 23 strikeouts in 19 innings. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Acuna, Fried named Players of the Week in fall league

Braves prospects are excelling in the Arizona Fall League and a pair, Ronald Acuna and Max Fried, were named Players of the Week on Tuesday for week three of the season.

Fried allowed one run and five hits in 11 innings while winning both of his starts last  week, improving to 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA in four starts and raising his league-leading strikeout total to 23 with five walks in 19 innings. The left-hander has the best ERA and second-best WHIP (0.74) among AFL starters.

Fried made his major league debut in August and had a 3.81 ERA in nine games (four starts) for the Braves including a win against the Cubs in a Sunday afternoon game at Wrigley Field in his first start.

Acuna, an outfielder who’s the Braves’ No. 1-rated prospect and one of the top five prospects in all of baseball, hit .476 with three homers and scored 12 runs in five games during the week, including a two-homer game. 

Fellow Braves prospect Alex Jackson (13) is the only other player who had more than 12 runs scored all season in the AFL before Tuesday.

For the week, Acuna led the league in hits (10), extra-base hits (six) and total bases (22). For the AFL season, he was batting .354 (17-for-48) and had a .450 OBP and .625 slugging percentage for a 1.075 OPS that ranked fifth in the league. 

The Venezuelan center fielder doesn’t turn 20 until Dec. 18 and is one of the youngest players in the AFL after being the youngest player in both Double-A and Triple-A during the 2017 season. Acuna was recently named Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America magazine.

Three of the four players nominated for the Player of the Week award were Braves prospects. That included third baseman Austin Riley, who hit for the cycle in a game last week and was batting .324 with seven extra-base hits (three homers) and 13 RBIs in just eight games before Tuesday and had the league’s second-highest OPS (1.130).

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