Braves: Ronald Acuña Jr. still receiving tons of love from his peers

MLB: SEP 27 Cubs at Braves

Ronald Acuña Jr. suffered his second torn ACL since 2021 on Memorial Day weekend. His season is done, and the future is cloudy. However, none of that takes away from what he was able to accomplish a year ago in his historic NL MVP campaign, which his peers recognized in a player poll conducted by The Athletic.

Over 100 players were asked a variety of questions. Among them, who is the best player in the game right now? Unsurprisingly, Shohei Ohtani received the majority of the vote at 46%, but Ronald Acuña Jr. came in second with 26.5% of the vote.

  1. Shohei Ohtani — 46%
  2. Ronald Acuña Jr. — 26.5%
  3. Mookie Betts — 8.8%
  4. Aaron Judge — 8.8%
  5. Mike Trout — 3.3%

If someone told me any five of those players is the best player in baseball right now, I wouldn’t argue. This poll was conducted over the spring, so there might be a lot more players saying Aaron Judge today now that he’s healthy and off to a torrid start to the season. However, when he’s right, nobody can do what Ronald Acuña Jr. can do. Capable of blasting a baseball 500 feet and swiping 70 bags, which is why he was able to make history a year ago, becoming the first member of the 40/70 club.

“It’s tough not to go with Ohtani, but Acuña is pretty close,” an anonymous player who took part in the poll said of Ronald Acuña Jr. “I saw BP the other day, I was impressed. And playing against (him) for the past five years. But it’s tough. (With Ohtani) you’ve got two guys in one.”

“I think he’s the best player in baseball right now.”

All five of these players are Hall-of-Fame talents, but in terms of excitement, Acuña is in a class of his own. Hopefully, he can make a full recovery and be the same guy when he returns. Baseball is better when Ronald Acuña Jr. is a part of it.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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