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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.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.