Braves want ‘cocky’ prospect Ronald Acuna to stop wearing hat crooked
The Atlanta Braves reportedly have expressed a desire for Ronald Acuna, among the top prospects in baseball, to make some slight changes when it comes to behaving like a professional. Amid the issues purportedly troubling the Braves is how the 20-year-old tends to not wear his hat straight.
A report from MLB.com’s Mark Bowman indicates the Braves “want Acuna to wear his hat straight and maintain a professional appearance while in uniform.”
The Braves have brought in Andruw Jones, who spent a majority of his outstanding career with the organization, to mentor Acuna. Jones of course knows what Acuna is going through, as he once was a very young prospect attempting to make his way in the big leagues. After all, Jones was only 19 when he made his MLB debut with the Braves on Aug. 15, 1996.
Jones made it clear in recent comments that while cockiness can be a good thing, honoring the game is also necessary at the same time.
“You’ve got to be cocky to play this game,” Jones said. “You’ve got to be confident in yourself to go out and show you belong there. You don’t want to sit in the corner and put your head down every time. You want to stand out there and show you belong in that league at that time.
“Cocky is a good thing. But respecting the game is also very important.”
With all that in mind, it appears the Braves do not want to curb Acuna’s enthusiasm and love of the game, as Jones noted.
“The main thing he needs to remember is keep your head straight and respect [your surroundings],” Jones said. “Be humble, but a humble-cocky.”
Interestingly, the Braves’ coming out to highlight Acuna’s hat issue could conceivably be a way for the organization to keep the young phenom in the minors early on this season in a bid to delay his arbitration eligibility and eventual free agency. Either way, it will be interesting to see how warmly Acuna welcomes the Braves’ cap demands.