The National League is filled with stars, and the Atlanta Braves, the defending World Series champions, have one of them.
When he gets back to the field, Ronald Acuna Jr. will be playing his first official game since tearing his ACL in late July.
Fortunately for the Braves, they were able to get some reinforcements around the MLB trade deadline and went on to win the World Series without their biggest star.
But make no mistake: Atlanta’s chances of repeating will largely depend on Acuna’s health and effectiveness, especially now that Freddie Freeman isn’t around.
Speaking of Freeman, he is a legitimate MVP candidate in the National League, much like Acuna, now that he is on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Fans, however, are siding with Acuna as the favorite to win the award for the first time in his career this season, at least according to MLB on Fox.
The results are in! ⚾️
MLB on FOX fans picked Ronald Acuña Jr. to win the NL MVP award this year! pic.twitter.com/VxbvSNafui
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 24, 2022
He Will Miss A Couple Of Weeks Of The Season
On talent alone, Acuna is very much in the mix to take home the hardware: he was hitting .283/.394/.596 with 24 homers and 17 steals in 82 games until his injury.
However, he will likely miss much of April, as the Braves’ plan is to bring him back slowly because he had major surgery last year.
The plan is for Acuna to return to the Braves on April 21 as a designated hitter, and he would be playing the outfield about a month after that.
Alex Anthopoulus #Braves GM told us the tentative plan is for Ronald Acuna to DH in a regular season game around April 21st and then playing in the OF by May 21st…of course this is just a light frame work but allows us an idea on what the plan is right now.
— Jim Bowden⚾️ (@JimBowdenGM) March 17, 2022
In any case, he is talented enough to make up for the time missed, and remains the fans favorite to be the National League’s Most Valuable Player when all is said and done.NEXT: Austin Riley Proving His Value With Two Home Runs On Wednesday