Ronald Acuña is absolutely destroying the Venezuelan Winter League


Braves slugger Ronald Acuña has kept busy this offseason, warding off rust by playing (with Atlanta’s blessing, of course) in the Venezuelan Winter League. Acuña didn’t have a great season, at least by his usual All-Star standards, in 2022 (career-low .764 OPS), prompting him to seek extra reps in his native Venezuela, where the 25-year-old is representing his hometown Tiburones de La Guaira in this week’s championship series.

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Given the green light to swing away on 3-0, the right-handed-hitting DH connected on a solo home run off Red Sox farmhand Norwith Gudino, staking La Guaira to a 5-3 lead in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s Game 2 at Estadio Universitario de Caracas.

Knowing the ballpark couldn’t hold his towering blast to deep center, Acuña put on a show for the 16,000+ fans in attendance, taking an eternity to circle the bases while paying homage to LeBron James by reenacting his famous “Silencer” celebration. That capped a productive night for Acuña, who also walked and singled in the losing effort.

Sharing a dugout with Alcides Escobar and Franklin Barrero, among other MLB alums, Acuña has dominated in his 10 games this winter, contributing a .441/.513/.647 batting line over 39 plate appearances. It’s a small sample size and obviously against worse competition than he’ll be facing in the big leagues come April and May, but all signs point to a bounce-back season for Acuña, who should be poised for a monster 2023.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images