Braves prospect on a tear Down Under

Baseball in Australia suits Braves outfield prospect Ronald Acuna just fine.

Acuna, who played last summer at Single-A Rome, is spending his offseason playing for the Melbourne Aces of the Australian Baseball League and is hitting .351 in 15 games.

The MLB Pipeline at ranks Acuna the Braves’ No. 17 overall prospect. Overall at Melbourne, he is 20-for-57, with two homers, 12 RBIs, 11 runs scored, three doubles and a triple. He had stolen 10 bases in 11 attempts and had a slugging percentage of .544 and an OPS of .937.

He has hit safely in his past seven games, in which he is 12-for-26 with two homers and 10 RBIs. He had a four-RBI game Dec. 2.

The low point among his stats are his 10 strikeouts.

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Acuna, who turns 19 on Dec. 18, hit .311 in 40 games at Rome in 2016, with four homers and 18 RBIs. He did two stints on the seven-day disabled list while with the R-Braves as he fought through a wrist injury.

Alex Jackson is the only outfielder ranked ahead of Acuna on the MLB Pipeline list, and the Braves may convert him to catcher. Acuna is the eighth-ranked position player. Of course, at the top of the list is Dansby Swanson, who while still listed as a prospect, essentially isn’t a “prospect” any longer.

The Aces have 25 games remaining before their season ends Jan. 29.

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