Ronald Acuña Jr. is playing his best baseball following an injury-riddled 2022 season where his production declined.
OF Ronald Acuña Jr. is a professional baseball player from Venezuela who currently plays for the Atlanta Braves. The Venezuela native is considered one of the most exciting young players in Major League Baseball today. His hot start in the 2023 season has only cemented his reputation as a superstar and future MVP winner.
Born on December 18, 1997, Acuña signed with the Braves as an international free agent in 2014. After working his way up through the minors, Acuña made his MLB debut in 2018. Since then, he has become a fan favorite and a key member of the Braves’ roster.
Overview of Acuña’s Stats in 2023
Acuña has had an impressive start to the 2023 season. In 48 games on the year, he has a .337 batting average, 11 home runs, and 27 RBIs. He has also stolen 20 bases and has an OPS of 1.015, both of which lead the National League. His .427 on-base percentage is the highest in the Majors.
Last year Acuña missed the beginning of the season due to an ACL tear. The Venezuelan was not the same after the injury and some people outside of Braves country started to doubt the ability. People in Braves country knew there was no chance the guy we have seen was gone.
Breaking Down Acuña’s Hitting Skills
Acuña is known for his incredible hitting ability. He has a quick and powerful swing that allows him to hit for both average and power. He has a career batting average of .282 and has hit 131 home runs in parts of five seasons, including 41 in 2019.
One of the keys to RAJ’s success at the plate is his ability to make contact with pitches outside of the strike zone. He has a career contact rate of 65.5%, which is well above the league average. The ability to expand the strike zone makes him a pitcher’s nightmare. It is rare you see a swing and miss from El Abusador.
Acuña Jr. also has excellent plate discipline. He has a career walk rate of 11.5%, which is again above the league average. The ability to not swing at pitches he cannot drive and wait for the ones he can is what makes this man so dangerous.
Ronald Acuña Jr. has 4 home runs that have gone over 450 feet this year.
No entire TEAM (excluding the Braves) has more 450+ foot home runs.
11% of 450+ foot home runs in MLB this year belong to him.pic.twitter.com/Xe39l6hGFC
— MLB Metrics (@MLBMetrics) May 17, 2023
Analyzing Acuña’s Base Running Abilities
Acuña Jr. is not just a great hitter; he is also a great base runner. He has incredible speed and is able to steal bases with ease. He has stolen 127 bases in his career and has only been caught stealing 34 times.
One of the things that makes Acuña Jr. such a dangerous base runner is his ability to read pitchers and get a great jump off of first base. He has an above-average stolen base percentage of 79%, and it is up to 91% in 2023.
Acuña Jr. is not just an offensive powerhouse; he has also been a great fielder in past years. He has a career fielding percentage of .986, which is above the league average for outfielders. He has also recorded 32 outfield assists in his career, which is evidence of his strong arm.
One of the things that has made Acuña such a great fielder is his ability to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. He has excellent speed and is able to track down fly balls that other outfielders might not be able to get to. This season is a different story, though, as Outs Above Average are down in the 1st percentile.
Acuña Jr. is also a very versatile defender. He has played all three outfield positions during his career and has shown that he is capable of making plays from any spot on the field. To watch him in the outfield is a gift to the eyes. Every time he has the ball fly towards him there is a chance of seeing a play that will be in the highlight reels forever.
Ronald Acuña Jr. 😱
Five-tool superstar. pic.twitter.com/XYs7dJgW39
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) May 23, 2023
Impact on the Atlanta Braves
Acuña Jr. has been a key member of the Braves’ roster since his debut in 2018. He has been a consistent contributor on offense and defense, and his energy and enthusiasm help motivate his teammates. Through the years Acuña has become a player that constantly brings the energy and fun. There is a good reason why the team was motivated to give him an extension early in his career.
Ronald Acuña Jr’s Rise to Fame
The right fielder’s rise to fame has been rapid and well-deserved. He burst onto the scene in 2018, winning the National League Rookie of the Year award and helping lead the Braves to the playoffs.
Since then, Acuña has only gotten better. He has been named to the All-Star team in each of the past three full seasons, and he received MVP votes in each of his first three seasons.
Acuña’s talent and potential have not gone unnoticed by the media. He has been featured in numerous articles and interviews. Recently he has become one of the most talked-about players in the league. This year Nike donned Acuña as the face of their baseball division.
Comparisons to other Players
Acuña Jr. gets compared to other top players in the league, such as OFs Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto. While each of these players has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, Acuña stands out for his all-around ability.
Acuña Jr. is a great hitter, a great base runner, and a great fielder. He has incredible speed and power, and he is able to make plays from any spot on the field. While he may not have the same level of flair as Tatis Jr. or the same level of discipline as Soto, Acuña Jr. is a truly complete player.
🗣️ RONALD ACUÑA JR. IS NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR 🗣️
The Pheñom beat out Juan Soto and Walker Buehler for @Braves' eighth ROY and first since Craig Kimbrel in 2011.#Braves | #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/OFzOL9qH0h
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) November 12, 2018
The future looks bright for Ronald Acuña Jr. He is still just 25 years old, and he has already established himself as one of the best players in the league.
Assuming he can stay healthy, there is no reason to think that the young star won’t continue to improve and post incredible numbers for years to come. While his career is only getting started it is hard to imagine that if he keeps up this production he will not be in the Hall of Fame when it is all said and done.
Ronald Acuña Jr. is a special player. He has incredible talent and potential, and he has already made a huge impact on the league in just a few short years.
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