Before the start of the season, I was asked to comment on the guy I thought was going to be the Nationals MVP. There were several good candidates, certainly, but I immediately stopped my choice on a specific player: Ronald Acuña Jr.
Obviously, I don’t claim to be a diviner for seeing it coming, but in my eyes, Acuña Jr. is a truly special player. And with the steals made easier in addition to seeing him finally back to health from his big knee injury, he seemed like the obvious choice to me.
And so far, he doesn’t lie to me.
Clearly, the Braves wouldn’t be where they are without their star outfielder, who is a player on a mission this year. They are happy to have him, we get along.
However, there are many universes in which Acuña Jr. is not a member of the Braves. In fact, according to former pitcher Kelvim Escobar, there are several clubs who, for various reasons, turned their noses up at the young outfielder while he was a free agent in Venezuela.
Of the lot, the main team is none other than the Colorado Rockies, who had him in their hands and who decided not to sign him at the very last second.
Obviously, it’s hard to totally blame them because we didn’t know that the young man was going to become such a good player (he really wasn’t known at the time), but they must really regret it considering that he was ready to sign.
However, the Rockies are far from being the only ones: the Nationals (who found him too expensive, even if he only signed for a pittance), the Royals (who tried him at the stop- short, unsuccessfully) and Rangers (who found his swing too long and too slow) also turned their noses up at him.
The overly long and overly slow swing especially makes me laugh, considering he potentially has the fastest swing in the Majors.
In the end, it’s not the Braves who will complain. Still, it’s intriguing to imagine a scenario in which Acuña Jr., who homers over 440 feet on a regular basis, plays the bulk of his games at Coors Field.
It’s got something to make you salivate, though.