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Ronald Acuña Jr. ranked #1 trade asset in MLB, Ozzie Albies #6

The Braves’ two young stars are both 1) very good and 2) signed to team-friendly contracts.

MLB: Atlanta Braves-Workouts John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The future of the Atlanta Braves appears to be in pretty great shape. Don’t just take my word for it — FanGraphs says they hold two of the six best assets in all of baseball right now.

As they have done the last few summers, FanGraphs just unveiled their Top 50 Trade Value series. To be certain this does not mean these players are at risk of being traded, but rather an evaluation of their age, talent, performance and, most notably, contract situation. Someone like Francisco Lindor is one of the game’s top players, but with just one year of contract control remaining before he lands a gigantic payday in free agency, his trade value is significantly less than (surprise) Ozzie Albies, signed for another 7 years and just $43 million after this one.

For the second year in a row, Ronald Acuña Jr. sits atop FanGraphs’ trade value series. He edged out Juan Soto a year ago for the top spot, and now he sits just ahead of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Soto. Rounding out the top five is Mike Trout — you have probably heard of him — and trash can enthusiast Alex Bregman.

Coming in at #6 is Albies, who is propelled by his incredibly team friendly contract and elite production at such a young age. Here’s what FG wrote about him:

“Thus far, Ozzie Albies has separated himself more with his contract than his play. Albies put up a very good 4.6 WAR season in 2019 following a solid 3.8 WAR campaign the year prior. He did need more than 700 PA to reach that total, and on a WAR/600 basis, his 4.4 is the second-lowest of any player in my top 10. His 117 wRC+ last year was also the lowest of any position player in the top 10, and that followed an average year at the plate. He doesn’t play a premium position, and his defense has been more good than great. He doesn’t hit the ball tremendously hard, likely won’t ever have huge power numbers, and his lefty swing against righties still leaves something to be desired. But he’s also just 23 years old and put up a 4.6-win season despite those issues. The projections love him, and some I spoke with believed he still has another step forward in him.”

No other Braves made the top-50 list, although I would reckon Mike Soroka, Max Fried and even Cristian Pache could see it at some point soon.

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