Braves' Albies expects 'crazy year' from Acuna
Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies is expecting a return to form for teammate Ronald Acuna Jr. after two injury-riddled campaigns.
"I expect him to be better than the 2019 Ronald, when he went off," Albies said Wednesday, according to The Athletic's David O'Brien.
"He’s gonna have a big year this year. Last year, he came back, kind of still playing not at 100 percent with his knee. This year, we talked to him and he said he feels better, and he’s gonna have a crazy year."
Acuna tore his ACL in July 2021 and struggled through knee soreness last season. The 25-year-old appeared in just 119 games and posted the lowest OPS (.764) of his five-year career.
Acuna is finally feeling like his normal self and is excited to put the injury concerns behind him.
"I’m just beyond excited and happy," Acuna said. "I think my face says it all. I feel like it’s been more than two years at this point since I felt completely healthy. So I’m beyond excited."
Albies is also looking to put a difficult 2022 season in the rearview mirror. The 26-year-old missed nearly 100 games due to foot and finger injuries and posted a career-worst .703 OPS across 269 plate appearances.