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  • International Player Profile: Bryan Acuña


    Cody Christie

    Ronald Acuña Jr. is a baseball superstar, and now Twins fans can hope his brother follows in his footsteps. Here's a look at Bryan Acuña, a top international prospect.

    Image courtesy of Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    Minnesota is favored to sign Bryan Acuña later this week, and he comes from a family of baseball players. His father, Ronald Acuña Sr., signed with the Mets in 1997. He played parts of eight minor league seasons and hit .282/.330/.364 (.694) while never playing higher than the Double-A level. He posted a .722 OPS in two High-A seasons with 36 extra-base hits in 148 games. His power never developed, but he continued to play in the Venezuelan Winter League until he was 30-years-old. 

    Two Acuña brothers have already signed and started their professional careers. Ronald Acuña Jr. has played parts of four big-league seasons with three top-12 finishes for NL MVP. He has a .925 OPS with two Silver Sluggers and two All-Star selections for his young career. Jose Acuña signed with the Rangers in 2018. Last season as a 19-year-old, he played 111 games at Low-A, where he hit .266/.345/.404 (.749). He was over two years younger than the competition at that level, and he hit double-digit home runs and doubles. Now the focus turns to Bryan, the youngest Acuña brother. 

    Bryan Acuña Scouting Report 
    Bats: R | Throws: R | HT 5'11" | WT: 155
    MLB Pipeline Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 45 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50


    Offensively, Acuña has impressed scouts for multiple years. Back in 2019, he was one of the top prospects at an international showcase held in Arizona. At the time, he was drawing comparisons to his older brother, and his swing looked advanced for a 14-year-old. He has grown up around the game, and many of his scouting reports praise his baseball IQ. His hit tool compares well against many other players ranked ahead of him. There is also room for him to add more power as he grows and fills out his frame. 

    Like many top international prospects, Acuña will sign as a shortstop, but there are no guarantees that will be his position for the long term. For comparison, Roderick Arias, the top-ranked international prospect this year, is also a shortstop, and he grades as a 55 Arm and a 55 Field. Acuña ranks behind him in both categories, but these are teenagers with plenty of development left to accomplish. Eventually, he may need to shift to second base, where he should profile as an above-average offensive player.

    Both of his older brothers topped out around 6-feet. Ronald, at age-24, weighs in at just over 200 pounds, while Jose was listed at 181 pounds last season as a 19-year-old. This should give some insight into how Bryan's body will develop into his early 20s, which is about when he'd reach the upper levels of the Twins farm system. 

    As Jamie mentioned yesterday, there are no guarantees on the international market, especially when dealing with teenage players. Minnesota had an unbelievable class in 2009, but there have been other misses along the way. Now, Twins fans hope the youngest Acuña will use his baseball acumen to follow his family to the big leagues.

    Do you think Acuña's swing is similar to his brother's? What type of ceiling will he have? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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    Younger brothers/siblings tend to do really well if not excede their older siblings. (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-are-great-athletes-more-likely-to-be-the-younger-siblings/)

    However, I wonder if this trend really applies to children of professional athletes. 
    Although they have there own advantages. 
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mlb-is-increasingly-a-father-son-game/

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    I am pretty excited about Bryans hit tool.  Not sure why he is ranked so low unless scouts see his future speed and power limiting him.  I wonder how you evaluate 16 year olds?  So much more growth projection from even 16 to 18 let alone 18 to 21.  

    I see him as a potential Arraez type player but he has a long ways to go.  I always get excited about these guys but you literally have to wait 6 to 8 years before they make it to MLB ball and that is a long time to wait.  Still I wish him the best and am glad he is a Twin.

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    In familial discussions, we also have our own Nick Gordon to consider. Father and brother did well, and doggone Nick has shown signs of promise.

    That said, I have an entirely different skill set from my Dad and my bothers. Mom's genes enter the conversation at some point.

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    1 hour ago, miracleb said:

    ha.....Nick Gordon would be the reason to NOT weigh in the family connection.

     

    What % of players ever get to the level of Nick Gordon? I would argue that he is another example of father son combos, Just shows us how hard it is to get to the show.


    Also Kiriloff is the son of an ex-Pirates scout. Which while not a pro player he also runs  Language of Hitting. 

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    On 1/11/2022 at 1:29 PM, Monkeypaws said:

    Brothers of stars always make me think of Ozzie Canseco, or Keith Gretzky.

     

    Perhaps Bryan will fare better.

    And I see JJ Watt, TJ Watt, Derek Watt

    Peyton Manning, Eli Manning with father Archie.

    Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr.

    and countless others with familial genes.

    Probably worth a shot  IMHO.

     

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