Scouting teenage international free agents is a difficult business. A scout needs to be able to project the next 12 to 15 years of a player’s progress and results. They must be able to project a player’s value when youngsters are just a few years away from puberty. But boy, the Royals and some others in MLB blew it.
Ronald said Kansas City told him he was too little and that the teams that saw him didn’t believed on him. The Braves saw him once and were the only ones that made him an offer. https://t.co/gmKg5PMbcm— Mexican Braves Fan (@MexicanBraves) April 10, 2020
If you know Spanish, you can hear for yourself. Here is the pulled quote via Google Translate:
Kansas City told me that I was very small, that I was this, that I was that, and I went home.
Acuña also mentioned that the Braves offered him a contract after seeing him play once. Per the tweet, the Braves were the only one that offered him. This conflicts with another report that the Nationals offered him a contract, but was outbid. In December, the Nationals General Manager lamented not signing the young phenom.
“I wouldn’t be on a one-year deal right now,” [DiPuglia] joked.
The Nationals have made out quite well in the international scene, with Victor Robles and
the 35-year-old Juan Soto. But yes, finding future talent when it is 14 years old is difficult. It’s almost like an international draft merged with the amateur draft might be a good idea. Even out of high school is difficult, however. Do you remember who the Braves drafted when they could have had Mike Trout? But still, snubbing Acuña for his size seems like a poor idea. There are plenty of examples of players that were shorter than Acuña’s 6-foot-even height having good careers. Pete Rose, Craig Biggio, and Rogers Hornsby come to mind. Of course, they were not as good as Ronnie, bless their hearts.