Quick hits: Hamilton addresses pictures

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– Josh Hamilton admitted taking part in some provocative pictures, first unearthed by Deadspin on Saturday:

“I
went to get something to eat. Obviously, I eat at restaurants that have
bars in them all the time. I wasn’t mentally fit to go in there,
spiritually fit, and it just crossed my mind, ‘Can I have a drink?’
Obviously, I can’t.”

While Hamilton admits to being drunk
in the photos, he did not fail a drug test, so he is not in violation
of the policy that allowed him to return to Major League Baseball.

– It appears that the White Sox are the most likely team
who put in a claim on Alex Rios. White Sox or not, the Blue Jays now
have until Tuesday to decide if they will let Rios go for nothing, work
out a trade or pull him back. Rios, who still has six years left on his
seven-year, $69.35 million contract, is batting .263/.316/.428 with 14
homers and 62 RBI (this includes his two-run homer against the Orioles
on Saturday).

– Speaking of waivers, Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus did a fine job of explaining the process for the layman.

Braves’ prospect Ronald Acuna wins AFL MVP, helps clinch AFL Championship Game

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The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.

At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.

Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.

From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.

Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.