Ronald Acuña Jr was awarded with the National League MVP for a season like no other. Acuña led the NL in plate appearances (735), runs (149), hits (217), stolen bases (73), on-base percentage (.416), OPS (1.012) and total bases. In most seasons, the .337 batting average would be good enough to take the batting title, but Luis Arraez took that.
He set the bar as the most energetic and most prolific player. The most historic part of Acuña’s season was how he recorded home runs and stolen players like no player in MLB history. His 41 homers and 73 steals were not only the first 40-70 season in league history, they were also the first 30-60 season in history.
Ronald Acuña Jr appeared to have wrapped up the MVP award by the All-Star break, but a second-half surge from Mookie Betts made the race competitive. At one point they appeared neck-and-neck, then Acuña hit .386/.453/.771 in his final 21 games to put himself over the top.
Betts has the edge on the defensive side. Though, the offensive performances for Acuña were enough to earn him the award. At the time that he joined the Braves, he was a relatively unheralded international free agent in 2014. He exploded as a top prospect in the minors. He’s been a dynamic talent in baseball since day one.
The 2023 season was the first that saw Acuña play more than 120 games since his sophomore season. This is the first MVP award for Acuña and the Braves still have him under contract until 2028. We’ll see that translates into another MVP for their brightest star or another World Series.
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