2017 Minor League Player Of The Year: Ronald Acuna

Ronald Acuna rocketed from high Class A to Triple-A this season as a 19-year-old. Thanks to his advanced approach at the plate--which the Braves identified early in the season--his performance improved along with the
competition. (Photo by Karl L. Moore)

It took Damon Berryhill just two at-bats to realize Ronald Acuna was special.

It was July 13. Berryhill, the manager of the Braves' Triple-A Gwinnett affiliate, had just received the touted Acuna after his promotion from Double-A Mississippi. Berryhill placed Acuna in Gwinnett's leadoff spot immediately, eager to see how the precocious Venezuelan would fare.

“His first game, we're facing Charlotte and he swung at (consecutive) sliders to strike out his first at-bat," Berryhill said. “He was probably excited; it was the one time I did see him chase out of the zone.

“But his next at-bat, he walked up and first slider (in the zone) he saw, he hit it over the right-field wall for a home run. Right then, I knew, this is what they've been telling me."

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