It’s Ronald Acuna Jr.‘s world and we’re just living in it. I say it frequently, but I really do mean it — Ronald Acuna is your favorite’s player favorite player. The Braves superstar has more talent in his pinky than a lot have in their entire bodies.
It’s not crazy to say he’s the most talented player in franchise history. Now, obviously, accomplishments matter, and the Venezuelan isn’t anywhere close to the careers of Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones, Warren Spahn, and other Braves legends.
In his second season returning from a torn ACL, Acuna has reminded the baseball world who is the best player in the sport (not named Shohei Ohtani). He’s set to take home the NL MVP unless some unforeseen event occurs — injury or an Ohtani trade — and is among the MLB leaders in several metrics.
Stats as of Monday 7/25
- 1st in runs (87)
- 2nd in hits (131)
- 1st in stolen bases (46)
- 2nd in batting average (.332)
- 4th in on-base percentage (.409)
- 3rd in slugging (.577)
- 3rd in wRC+ (163)
- 3rd in OPS (.986)
Regardless of what metric you look at, Ronald Acuna Jr. is among the MLB leaders. He’s having a historical season, and he’s on pace to challenge several notable franchise records, including hits, runs, total bases, and stolen bases.
Braves single season records:
Hits: Ralph Garr- 219 (1971)
Runs: Dale Murphy- 131 (1983)
Total Bases: Chipper Jones- 359 (1999)
Stolen Bases: Otis Nixon- 72 (1991)
Ronald Acuña Jr: 131 H, 87 R, 228 TB, 46 SB
Pace: 217 H, 144 R, 377 TB, 76 SB
— Trent (@Trenciarte) July 25, 2023
Acuna is a special talent, and the 2022 campaign gave those outside of Braves Country a sliver of hope that he wouldn’t bounce back from the ACL injury. They were wrong. Not only has he returned to his standard, but he’s also raised his level of play.
The physical talent is apparent, but Acuna is only 25 years old. Now, we are seeing the game slow down for him mentally, understanding the nuances of the game and how pitchers are attacking him, none more evident than his strikeout rate, which currently sits under 12%, while his career average strikeout rate sits just south of 26%.
This is only the beginning of a very special career for Ronald Acuna Jr.
David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire