Final 2004 Scouting Report: OF, Ron Acuna

The New York Mets signed Ron Acuna as an International free agent out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 16 and assigned him to their Dominican Summer League team. Acuna, who is a six-year free agent this fall, has performed well but has not realized his power potential that had scouts chomping at the bits eight years ago. <b>(Free Preview of Premium Content)</b>

Vital Statistics:
Name: Ronald Acuna
Position: Right Field
DOB: February 1, 1981
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 225
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

After debuting with the Mets in the Dominican Summer League back in 1996, Acuna spent the next two seasons in the Venezuelan Summer League before making his U.S. professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Mets back in 1999. Acuna hit his way all the way to short-season Pittsfield that same year before beginning the 2000 season with the Capital City Bombers at the tender age of 19 years old. Acuna was sent back to Pittsfield in 2000 where he hit .307 and stole 31 bases in 72 games.

In 2001, Acuna hit a career high six home runs in 96 games for the Bombers before advancing to St. Lucie for his first taste of high-A ball. In 2002, he was sent back to the Florida State League for some more seasoning before he was promoted to AA-Binghamton, which has remained his team ever since then. Once projected to be a five-tool talent when he was signed back in 1996, Acuna has never been able to turn his gap power into home run power but has proven to be a very reliable player for the Mets in his six years in the system. Still just 23 years old, it remains to be seen if Acuna will be re-signed by the Mets this offseason.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Binghamton

.300

500

150

1

57

61

22

26

99

.333

.376

2003

Binghamton

.304

474

144

2

50

70

24

34

88

.350

.388

2002

Binghamton

.208

24

5

0

3

3

1

2

5

.250

.458

2002

St. Lucie

.298

443

132

2

54

67

36

38

74

.365

.375

2001

St. Lucie

.244

119

29

2

13

13

7

6

22

-

.370

2001

Capital City

.285

376

107

6

62

63

23

19

67

-

.394

2000

Capital City

.179

39

7

0

0

1

3

1

17

-

.231

2000

Pittsfield

.307

287

88

2

35

52

31

10

55

-

.366

1999

Pittsfield

.225

71

16

0

6

7

8

8

26

-

.268

1999

Kingsport

.285

123

35

1

24

26

15

14

32

-

.374

1999

GCL Mets

.250

20

5

0

3

1

2

1

4

-

.300


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. Acuna is a real mystery. He is a big guy at 6'4" with an athletic 225 lbs frame. He has good bat speed and gap power. However, he hasn't been able to transfer his gap power into home run power ever since signing back in 1996. In 2,861 at-bats, he's amassed a grand total of 19 career home runs! What he lacks in power, he makes up in contact. Not the most patient hitter at the plate (just 204 career walks), Acuna has a knack for putting the ball in play. He's a career .291 hitter. He's still just 23 years old and has more than two seasons of AA under his belt so despite the lack of power thus far, oddly enough, he could theoretically increase his home run totals. He's just too talented and too strong not to!

Base Running and Speed. As aggressive as he is as the plate, you won't find too many players more aggressive than Acuna on the base paths. In fact, from 1999-2001 Acuna has 30 more stolen bases than walks drawn (89 SBs, 59 BBs). He's very fast but has been caught stealing 37 times in the last three years so he still has to learn the pitchers' moves more. As quick as he is, he is seemingly even faster when in motion. He's the guy you want on second base as the game tying run.

Defense. Acuna has excellent range in the outfield and an above average arm. If he could ever realize his power potential, he has the makings of a very good right fielder. He can play all three outfield positions with his speed.

Projection. At this point, it's tough to project Acuna as more than a fourth outfielder and bench player. He is still young enough and has enough experience to make that next leap. His speed, defense, and ability to put the ball in play ensure that he'll reach the Majors in some capacity.

ETA. N/A. Giving an ETA for Acuna is tough considering he's a six-year free agent this offseason. Chances are he'll be back with the Mets next season and deserves a chance in AAA-Norfolk. His productivity in the power department will dictate just how quickly he progresses from this point forward.


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