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Aces sign highly rated Braves prospect
10/12/2016 6:53 PM ET
 

HIGHLY rated Atlanta Braves prospect Ronald Acuna has put pen to paper and is set to join the Melbourne Aces for the upcoming Australian Baseball League (ABL) season.

Acuna is a member of the Atlanta Braves Class-A affiliate the Rome Braves that won the Southern Atlantic League Championship this season. 

The 18-year-old Venezuelan outfielder spent a substantial amount of time on the sidelines during the Braves 2016 season having suffered a thumb injury in early May.

Despite being limited to just 40 games, Acuna's numbers were impressive recording 46 hits while knocking in 18 for a .311 batting average. He would also swipe 14 bases from 21 attempts.

Joining Acuna will be catcher Wigbeto Nevarez, a teammate of his from the Rome Braves. Nevarez will act as Acuna's translator for the season, but he could also see game time for the Aces having been a catcher in the Braves system since 2014. 

Despite the language barrier, new Manager Jon Deeble says he's excited to have Acuna at the Aces this year.

"This kid is young but he's a five-tool guy and a really exciting prospect and we're just wrapped to have him on board."

"With Acuna and some of the other guys we've got coming out, we're going to be in a situation where we can run a lot more this year and put a lot of pressure on defences."

"He's an above average defender as well. Speed is one thing but to be able to catch the ball in the gaps and really squeeze opposition hitters is going to be an asset."

The Melbourne Aces season gets underway on Friday 18 November against the four-time ABL Champions the Perth Heat.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.