The Atlanta Braves took the field Tuesday night with the three youngest players in Major League Baseball in their starting nine: Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mike Soroka.
Soroka made his major-league debut, getting the win after pitching six innings and giving up just one run en route to a 3-2 victory against the first-place New York Mets at Citi Field. For Soroka, who was just 20 years, 270 days old, it was the first time a 20-year-old allowed one or fewer runs in their MLB debut since Jose Fernandez in 2013, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Albies, meanwhile, turned 21 just 114 days ago, and Acuña is the youngest of the trio, at 20 years, 134 days old as of Tuesday. Acuña played in his sixth big-league game on Tuesday night and has already gotten six extra-base hits – the most for any Brave in his first six games since 1900, ESPN Stats and Info also said.
And what has Albies done? He’s been promoted to the leadoff spot, and if he had the same remarkable April in a Yankees or Dodgers uniform, he’d be leading Sportscenter every night.
So far, the youth movement of the trio has gone about as well as anyone could’ve imagined. Acuña was promoted to the No. 2 spot in the batting order in his fifth career game, and Albies was moved into the leadoff spot. That bumped center fielder Ender Inciarte down to No. 9, allowing for a seamless flip of the lineup back to Albies and Acuña. It has led to quick starts at the plate in both games.
We’ll see how the youngsters hold up this summer as a lengthy MLB season drags out, but if the youngest trio in baseball can carry enough of the load deep into August and September, it would be easy to see this team in the Wild Card chase for much of the summer and possibly into the fall.Follow @Sean_Breslin