Ronald Acuna Q&A: On offseason moves, playing basketball in Venezuela

Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna spoke with the media at Chop Fest on Saturday at Truist Park. In the interview, he discussed the acquisitions of Marcell Ozuna and Felix Hernandez, as well as playing basketball during the offseason. Acuna spoke through the Braves' interpreter and the following interview was edited for brevity.

Q: When you look back on 2019, why would you say you might’ve been better in 2019 than you were in 2018? What were some of the improvements you made?

A: I would say the experience was the biggest difference. Baseball is the same game no matter what, it doesn't change. So, in that sense, the experience was the biggest factor I think in helping to improve. For me personally, I think the secret is to go out there and have fun. Everyone knows that's how I like to play the game and hopefully, at this point, knows I like to give my maximum effort every time I take the field.

More Braves Q&As

» Cole Hamels
» Mike Soroka
» Freddie Freeman
» Read the entire series

Q: What was your thought when the front office added Marcell Ozuna? What kind of relationship do you have with him? Are you looking forward to playing alongside him?

A: I was very happy and excited to find out the news. I'm very proud to have a baseball player of that caliber playing next to us. Obviously, within the lineup I feel like it's fortified and strengthened a little bit, so I'm excited to see what this year is going to be like.

Q: What did you think of the Felix (Hernandez) signing? Did you watch him in his glory years in Seattle?

A: Obviously it's very exciting. I've been excited for every move that the team's made so far. Growing up we watched him, being Venezuelan and everything. He's not just a tremendous pitcher but he's a tremendous person as well, so we're excited to have him.

Q: We saw a video of you this offseason playing basketball and throwing down a dunk on Instagram. What was that about?

A: It was a professional team (in Venezuela) that invited us out to join them. They had an exhibition type event. It was nothing to me, just went out there to meet the guys and be with them. Everyone knows that basketball isn't really my thing, baseball is."

Q: After being so close to 40-40 last year, is that a goal of yours this year?

A: I feel like there's always time for that. My main priority is to stay healthy and help the team win in any way that I can.