Tuesday, May 7

5 years after debut, Acuña’s expertise stays ‘ridiculous’

ATLANTA — Five years later, Ronald Acuña Jr. continues to dwell as much as these lofty expectations that surrounded his Major League arrival.

“He’s probably exceeded expectations,” Braves supervisor Brian Snitker stated. “It’s hard to put expectations on guys until they get here. But it’s been pretty special seeing what he has been able to do.”

Acuña celebrated the fifth anniversary of his MLB debut by propelling the Braves to a 7-4 win over the Marlins on Tuesday evening at Truist Park. The 25-year-old outfielder’s capacity to affect a recreation together with his energy, velocity, glove and arm have created cause to consider he’ll certainly show to be one of many recreation’s elite gamers for a few years to return.

“The talent is just ridiculous,” Braves veteran pitcher Charlie Morton stated. “The power, the contact and his approach at the plate … he is just really well put together.”

When Acuña made his MLB debut for the Braves in Cincinnati on April 25, 2018, he stood as baseball’s high prospect. His earliest days as an enormous leaguer created extra chatter about him changing Mike Trout as the sport’s subsequent famous person. His ascent was halted by the torn proper ACL he suffered two days earlier than the 2021 All-Star break.

But as Acuña entered Tuesday tied for the MLB lead with a 1.6 fWAR (FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement Model), it was clear he had regained his place with Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge and the sport’s elite.

“Obviously, one of the perks about being healthy is you can showcase your abilities day in and day out,” Acuña stated by way of an interpreter.

There was loads to have a good time because the Braves claimed a second straight win over the Marlins. Morton produced his greatest begin of the season, hanging out 9 over seven innings. Eddie Rosario homered for a second straight evening and Ozzie Albies loved his first two-homer recreation.

As for Acuña, he padded his MVP resume by including to his MLB-leading totals in multihit video games (13) and stolen bases (13). Now that his surgically repaired knee is wholesome, he will probably be aiming for the 40-40 season he fell three steals shy of in 2019. Or perhaps not less than a 50-steal season.

“The most important thing is to stay healthy,” Acuña stated. “We’ll see at the end of the season, how many I can steal.”

Acuña has instantly proven how harmful he will be within the leadoff function. He received the Braves rolling on Monday with a leadoff double after which stole third base earlier than Austin Riley gave Morton an early lead with a RBI single. This has been a recipe for fulfillment for Atlanta, which is now 15-2 when scoring first.

One of the keys to getting an early lead has been the ridiculous success Acuña has had within the opening body. He leads MLB in every of those first-inning classes: batting common (.636), on-base proportion (.667), doubles (5) and stolen bases (7).

Just 9 different gamers have even totaled seven stolen bases this yr. The Rays’ Wander Franco is the one different participant with three stolen bases within the first inning.

Though Acuña has homered simply 3 times this yr, he hit 41 homers in 2019 and has proven he has the potential to be one of many recreation’s high energy threats.

Ryan Howard (325), Pete Alonso (347), Gary Sánchez (355), Aaron Judge (371), Yordan Alvarez (372), Ralph Kiner (376) and Joey Gallo (377) are the one gamers to attain 100 homers in fewer video games than Acuña (378).

But when Acuña reached that milestone in 2021, he turned the quickest participant to ever attain 100 homers and 75 stolen bases by variety of video games.

Acuña has 123 homers and 120 stolen bases by way of the primary 538 video games of his profession. He is the quickest participant to ever attain each marks, and the one participant to achieve stated marks in such a brief span. (Eric Davis is the one different participant to perform it in fewer than 600 video games, and he did it in 559.)
Safe to say, Acuña has lived as much as these expectations of being particular.

“You see the swing and the ball come off the bat, even in [batting practice], it’s just a joke,” Morton stated. “He’s a really unique player.”

Content Source: www.mlb.com