Ronald Acuna Jr. enters the 2023 season another year removed from his torn ACL.
He suffered that injury in July of 2021, which kept him on the shelf for the rest of the year and the Atlanta Braves’ World Series title run.
He missed a few games to start 2022, but returned in April.
The slugger and former Rookie of the Year hit .266 with 15 home runs and 50 RBI in 2022.
But the Braves will need him to remain healthy in 2023 if they plan on making another run to the postseason.
On MLB Network, analysts Anthony Recker and Bo Porter discussed the importance of Acuna and what he could bring for the Braves.
"He is the single most important player for the Atlanta Braves this season."@Boporter16Bo and @Anthony_Recker discuss Ronald Acuña Jr. and what he brings to the table at full health for the NL East champs.#MLBTonight | #SpringTraining pic.twitter.com/o7qNlZSCpU
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 27, 2023
Porter described Acuna as the single most important player for the Braves entering the 2023 season.
He also discussed the importance of the team being able to keep their core players on the field.
Last season, Ozzie Albies missed an extended period of time.
The Braves also have lost both Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson in free agency in each of the last two seasons, and Porter stated that the team can ill afford to lose Acuna, Albies, or any of their core players to injuries this year.
Recker then talked about the impact of losing Swanson to the Chicago Cubs and how it shrunk their position player depth.
He discussed that with Swanson gone, the onus falls on the Braves’ in-house stars to stay healthy and continue producing for the team.
Recker then pointed to Acuna as the X-factor for the Braves, saying that if he can put up elite numbers, the Braves are a different team.NEXT: Michael Harris II Truly Had A Dominant Rookie Season