Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr.to Have Season-Ending Surgery After Torn ACL Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2021

Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. walks to the dugout after batting during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Friday, June 25, 2021. The Braves won 3-2. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Aaron Doster/Associated Press

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. suffered a season-ending knee injury during Saturday's game against the Miami Marlins.

The Braves announced Acuna's MRI revealed a torn ACL that will require surgery. 

Acuna had to be taken off the field on a cart when his leg buckled as he was attempting to make a catch in right field.


Ronald Acuña Jr. has left the game with an apparent knee injury after attempting an outfield catch. https://t.co/tIbuyXOQUd

Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun @BallySportsFL

Best wishes and speedy recovery to Ronald Acuña Jr.—heck of a player! #JuntosMiami #Braves #MLB https://t.co/ueqXxAGNHH

Per David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Acuna attempted to walk a few steps being helped by three Braves trainers and had to stop before they brought out the cart.

The 23-year-old Acuna is one of the most talented young hitters in the game, and he is producing to the tune of .281/.392/.593 with 24 homers, 52 RBI and 16 stolen bases coming into Saturday.

Acuna, who is in the midst of his fourth MLB season, has been a star since making his debut with the Braves in 2018.

He was named the 2018 National League Rookie of the Year that season and followed it up with a career year in 2019 that saw him earn an All-Star nod, a Silver Slugger award and a fifth-place finish in the NL MVP voting.

That season, Acuna hit .280 and set career highs with 41 home runs, 101 RBI, 127 runs scored and 37 stolen bases. He also led the NL in both runs and steals that year.

Acuna dropped off a bit in the 2020 COVID-19-shortened season, but he still put up solid numbers, hitting .250 with 14 homers, 29 RBI, 46 runs scored and eight stolen bases in just 46 games.

That netted Acuna his second consecutive Silver Slugger award, and he finished 12th in the MVP voting, marking his third finish of 12th or better in the race for NL MVP during his career.

Acuna is perhaps the biggest key to Atlanta's success, and losing him for any period of time would be a massive detriment to the Braves competing for a playoff spot.

Acuna landing on the shelf would loom even larger than usual since slugging outfielder Marcell Ozuna is not with the team amid domestic violence charges and a finger injury suffered in May.

With the Braves forced to play the remainder of the season without Acuna, Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson will primarily be tasked with picking up the slack.

Also, Ender Inciarte and Abraham Almonte will also see more playing time in the outfield.