MLB.com recently came up with a list of 11 players that could potentially reach the 500 home run mark, which essentially makes you a lock for the Hall of Fame, and one Brave made the list — Ronald Acuna Jr. — who currently sits at 122 career home runs.
7. Ronald Acuña Jr.
Age: 25 | Career HR: 122
Why he could do it: Pete Alonso earned a hefty amount of consideration here, but Acuña – three years Alonso’s junior — is the safer choice. Despite the shortened 2020 season and missing half of the ‘21 campaign due to a right knee injury, Acuña is one of only 27 players in the Modern Era to record at least 120 homers prior to his age-25 season. His 2022 homer total (15) left something to be desired, but there was and continues to be nothing wrong with Acuña’s bat; he consistently ranks among the league leaders in max exit velocity while posting strong barrel rates. Fully healthy and with lots of baseball in front of him, set a reminder for Acuña’s 500th-homer celebration for some point during the 2034 season.
It’s almost crazy that Acuna already has 122 career homers, is only 25-years-old, and essentially missed a year and a half of home run production because of a torn ACL. He could very easily be around 150-160 homers had he been 100% healthy.
However, Acuna now looks like the guy he was pre-injury, and if it stays that way for his entire career, there’s no doubt in my mind he will reach the 500 home-run mark. Few players possess the power that Acuna does. Given he was able to start his MLB career much earlier than most, he should have no problem reaching the milestone.
But what other Braves have a chance at 500 home runs?
The only one I really think has a good opportunity is Austin Riley. He’s a 40 home run threat every season and just recorded his 100th career home run last night. At just 26-years-old, I think he could make a run at 500 homers. Riley has improved every season offensively since coming into the league, and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down based on the early results from this season.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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