Ronald Acuna wins Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year Award

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Baseball America has named Braves infielder Ronald Acuna its Minor League Player of the Year.

Acuna, who is only 19, had a meteoric rise through the minors this year, beginning the campaign in High-A ball, moving up to Double-A after only 28 games and then moving up to Triple-A 57 games later. In the course of his season-long rampage through the minors the outfielder led all hitters with 181 hits and posted a line of .325/.374/.522, hit 21 home runs, 31 doubles, eight triples, drove in 81 runs and stole 44 bases. Did I mention that he’s only 19? Yeah, I think I did.

Acuna is the third Brave to win Baseball America’s Award, the last being Jason Heyward in 2009 and the first being Andruw Jones, who actually won it twice, in 1995 and 1996.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).