MLB Team of the Week: Braves' Ronald Acuña Jr. bringing flash and fun

MLB Team of the Week: Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. bringing flash and fun

By Ben Verlander
FOX Sports MLB Analyst

Welcome to the MLB Team of the Week, where we celebrate the players around Major League Baseball who have earned our acknowledgment and praise!

Beyond taking a look at season stats, this space is an opportunity to highlight the best players of the week that was in MLB. Sometimes, that’ll mean the game’s biggest stars; other times, it’ll be a young rookie who stepped up to have the best week of his career.

Dansby Swanson and Bryce Harper lead Ben Verlander’s Team of the Week

Dansby Swanson and Bryce Harper lead Ben Verlander's Team of the Week

Ben Verlander breaks down his Team of the Week after Week 10, led by the Braves’ Dansby Swanson and the Phillies’ Bryce Harper.

But first, we need to discuss this week’s player of the week.

OF: Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves

Acuña was the definition of exciting this week. He did it all at the plate and around the bases, hitting .435 with four home runs, four runs beaten in and two steals. What’s more, Acuña is the heartbeat of an Atlanta Braves team that is in the midst of its longest winning streak since 2013.

Acuña is also bringing some fun to the game. Lately after home runs, he has been doing the celebrations of NBA stars such as LeBron James and Trae Young.

Thankfully for the game of baseball, Acuña seems to have not missed a beat since returning from almost a year away from the game due to a torn ACL.

Ronald Acuña Jr. wins Ben Verlander’s Player of the Week

Ronald Acuña Jr. wins Ben Verlander's Player of the Week

Ben Verlander breaks down why Ronald Acuña Jr. deserved to be this week’s player of the week.

Watch “Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander” we Youtube, or subscribe on podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts.

C: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals

Salvy missed almost a month due to a thumb injury but still ranks second among catchers this season with nine homers and 27 RBIs. That’s in large part thanks to the huge week he just had, in which he logged an OPS north of 1,200 and drove in 10 runs.

1B: Luis Arráez, Minnesota Twins

Arraez hit .546 with a 1.402 OPS on the week. His 66 hits rank him sixth in the American League this season, and he added 12 to that total this week.

2B: Marcus Semien, texas rangers

In his first 27 games this season, Semien had four multi-hit outings. This week, he had four in six games and also homered four times, finishing with a .480 average and 1.536 OPS.

3B: Jake Burger, Chicago White Sox

Burger has gotten a hit in his past eight games, which is a career best. He had three home runs and hit .458 this week.

White Sox fans call for Tony La Russa’s job after questionable decision

White Sox fans call for Tony La Russa's job after questionable decision

Ben Verlander discusses the situation on the South Side of Chicago, with the White Sox’s underwhelming start to the season and fans chanting “fire Tony” after the Sox gave up a lead against the Rangers.

SS: Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves

Swanson got off to a rough start to the 2022 campaign. Lately, though, he has been tearing it up, and so have the Braves. It’s no coincidence: When Swanson scores a run, the Braves are 23-6 this season. He hit .435 on the week with 10 knocks.

OF: Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins

Buxton hit five (FIVE!) home runs this week. He also hit .412 and had a ridiculous 1.853 OPS. In fact, Buxton hit two home runs in back-to-back games, becoming just the fourth player in Twins history to do that.

OF: Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros

Including Sunday, Tucker is on an 11-game hitting streak, which is the longest of his career. He seems to be heating up at the plate, as evidenced by his hitting .429 with three homers on the week.

DH: Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies

Harper is playing this season with one partially torn UCL and has been limited to the designated hitter position. But that hasn’t slowed him down one bit. Entering this week, he ranks in the top 10 in batting average, OPS, hits, home runs and RBIs. Last week, he hit .458 with three homers and an OPS of 1.357.

Hunter Greene, Julio Rodríguez headline Rookies of the Week

Hunter Greene, Julio Rodríguez headline Rookies of the Week

Ben Verlander names his top five rookies of the week, including the Cincinnati Reds’ Hunter Greene.

SP: Hunter GreeneCincinnati Reds

Greene had two starts on the week. In them, he recorded a 0.75 ERA, allowed only three hits and struck out 15 in 12 innings pitched. The rookie has found his groove.

CP: Kenley JansenLos Angeles Dodgers

Jansen finished the week with four saves, with the Dodgers in the midst of their longest winning streak in nine years. Jansen now has 18 saves on the season, second behind only Josh Hader.

Ben Verlander is an MLB Analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the “Flippin’ Bats” podcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before he joined his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. He spent five years in the Tigers organization. Follow him on Twitter @Ben Verlander.


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