In 51 career games against the Philadelphia Phillies, Ronald Acuña Jr. has homered 11 times and a .971 OPS. Given that the Atlanta Braves have Acuña under contractual control though the 2028 season, he could very well go down as one of the biggest Phillie-killers ever.
While the Phillies are facing the prospects of playing Acuña 19 times a year for at least seven more seasons, they’re also hoping that some of his family’s magic rubs off on their franchise.
In an appearance on The MLB Pipeline Podcast, Phillies international scouting director Sal Agostinelli revealed that recent international signee Aaron Escobar is Acuña’s cousin.
“We signed Escobar. I think he’ll probably start at short, and wind up at third base or second base. He’s a tremendous hitter. He’s Ronald Acuña’s cousin …”
Interestingly, when Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia first reported that the Phillies had signed Escobar, he was listed as a second baseman. Escobar was one of 10 international signings that the Phillies reportedly made last weekend.
Beyond being cousins with one of the most talented players in the league, we don’t yet know much about Escobar just yet. If he has 1/10 of the talent as his older cousin, he’ll quickly become a notable name in an organization desperate to strike find some hidden international gems.
Elsewhere in the National League East, Elian Soto — who is the younger brother of Juan — spurned the New York Mets to sign with the Washington Nationals.
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