Is Ronald Acuña Jr. the future of the National League?
Acuña has had a historic career this far, and he is only 20 years old. What else is in store for the Braves young outfielder?
Ronald Acuña Jr. has only been in the majors since late April and has already made a huge impression on MLB, let alone his team. Acuña has the talent to become the future of the Braves, the National League, and maybe even the future of Major League Baseball.
Since being called up, Acuña is batting .288/.346/.576 with 19 home runs. He has now hit a home run in five consecutive games and has eight home runs in his last eight games. Over that stretch, Acuña hit a home run in five straight games, a leadoff home run in three straight games, and became the youngest player to hit a home run in five consecutive appearances.
In the leadoff spot, Acuña has a fine batting line of .360/.424./775 with nine home runs, as reported by CBS.
The 20-year-old Acuña has a real chance at being crowned National League Rookie of the Year, but it seems his successes will stretch far past his rookie season. We are looking at a guy that could easily become the new face of baseball if he can sustain his early excellence.
Home run happy
Acuña has been smashing every pitch he sees out of the park. His 19 home runs have come in only 67 games and 289 plate appearances. That’s a home run for every 14 at-bats.
In the Braves’ doubleheader with the Miami Marlins, he hit a leadoff home run in each game. There are only three other players in MLB history that hit a leadoff home run in each game of a doubleheader: Harry Hooper (1913), Rickey Henderson (1993), and Brady Anderson (1999).
While Acuña is no Aaron Judge, who hit 52 home runs his rookie year last season, he is on pace to hit at least 30 home runs, which is incredible considering he missed a third of the season.
Rookie of the Year?
While Atlanta fans have had the luxury of watching history being made by Acuña, Washington has been having just as great of a time watching their even younger superstar tear it up in Juan Soto.
The Nationals’ promising young outfielder is only 19 years old. What were you doing when you were 19? Probably not batting .301/.422/.548 with 15 home runs in only 75 games. That’s a home run every 17 at bats.
Soto’s general numbers are higher than Acuña’s, which will make the Rookie of the Year voting very interesting. While the stats are in Soto’s favor, the home runs and home runs per plate appearance both are in favor of Acuña.
If I had to place a bet, my money would be on Acuña.
Acuña is a name that will be heard all around Major League Baseball for many years to come. Baseball fans should consider themselves lucky to get to witness such a talented young player have the incredible success he has had thus far.
Do you think Acuña can stretch out his early success to last a whole career? Will Acuña win Rookie of the Year? Let us know what you think in the comments!