The BBWWA award finalists were announced yesterday, and a couple of Braves were recognized. Ronald Acuña Jr. expectedly is a finalist for the NL MVP award, along with Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, while Brian Snitker is a finalist for the NL Manager of the Year award, along with Craig Counsell and Skip Schumaker.
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) November 7, 2023
Your 2023 @officialBBWAA NL Manager of the Year Award finalists:
Brian Snitker pic.twitter.com/agP05KPorw
— MLB (@MLB) November 6, 2023
Your 2023 @officialBBWAA NL Most Valuable Player Award finalists:
Ronald Acuña Jr.
Freddie Freeman pic.twitter.com/Ex1z4bdQ5d
— MLB (@MLB) November 7, 2023
The NL MVP race in 2023 was one of the best in recent memory. In another year, all three of these finalists would have been runaway winners, and the same could be said for Matt Olson, who clobbered an MLB-leading 54 homers and 139 RBIs. It would have been nice to see Olson recognized, but I imagine he can go to sleep just fine with a fourth place finish.
The winner, however, will be Ronald Acuña Jr. He led all position players in fWAR, OBP, OPS, and OPS+. Beyond that, he became the first player in MLB history to hit 40+ homers with 70+ steals. It was a truly historic season from the Braves right fielder, who should run away with his first NL MVP award.
Brian Snitker is also deserving of his second NL Manager of the Year award. Unfortunately, that’s not generally how these things shake out. Everyone expected the Braves to be great again in 2023, and while they may have overachieved, it wasn’t nearly as surprising as the Marlins making the postseason. Skip Shumaker will likely get the nod as the 2023 NL Manager of the Year.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire