Leadoff: How Braves landed Acuna, Albies and Camargo for a combined $492,000

A half-million dollars typically doesn’t buy much baseball talent these days. But it was more than enough for the Braves to initially sign three international prospects who were in Wednesday night’s starting lineup. 

The Braves signed Ronald Acuna for a $100,000 bonus in July 2014. They signed Ozzie Albies for $350,000 in July 2013. And they signed Johan Camargo for $42,000 in July 2010. 

So for a total of $492,000, the Braves brought all three players into their organization. 

All of them were 16 years old when they signed. Because they weren’t high-profile, headline-making prospects at the time, the Braves were able to sign them at what turned out to be bargain prices. 

Acuna, Albies and Camargo aren’t technically products of the Braves’ rebuild because all three were signed by the Frank Wren administration before the big-league team’s teardown/rebuild commenced after the 2014 season. The farm system obviously wasn’t as barren as widely believed back then.

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On Wednesday at Cincinnati, Acuna started in left field, Albies at second base and Camargo at third base. Making his big-league debut, Acuna was 1-for-5, scored the tying run in the eighth inning and struck out twice.  Albies had two hits, including his seventh home run of the season. Camargo had two hits and two RBI. The Braves beat the Reds 5-4.

Acuna, who turned 20 in December, and Albies, who turned 21 in January, are the two youngest players in the major leagues. Camargo is 24. 

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TODAY’S LEADOFF LINKS

> The Hawks and coach Mike Budenholzer have agreed to part ways, general manager Travis Schlenk confirmed Wednesday night: “It’s time for both of us to move on.” See Michael Cunningham’s report here.

> If you’re excited about Acuna’s advent, you’re not alone. Mark Bradley is, too.

> The NFL draft starts tonight, and here’s D. Orlando Ledbetter’s final mock Round 1.

> Atlanta gets a team in a new professional football league, the Alliance of American Football, and Michael Vick gets a coaching job as the team’s offensive coordinator. Read Jeff Schultz’s column here.

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