He’s quite the hotshot in Major League Baseball. Earlier this season, he went toe-to-toe with Bae Ji-Hwan (24-Pittsburgh Pirates), and now he’s going toe-to-toe with Giancarlo Stanton (34-New York Yankees) and Aaron Judge (31-Yankees).
Ronald Acuña Jr. (26-Atlanta Braves) was the star of the show, batting first and playing right field against the Washington Nationals at Truiste Park in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on April 11.
On the day, Acuña bombed the Washington mound with three hits, including a home run, which came in the bottom of the second inning when the team took a 3-1 lead. She took a curveball from starter Mackenzie Gore and blasted a two-run homer to right-center field.
The ball traveled 413 feet (125.8 meters) with a launch angle of 20 degrees, reaching speeds of 112.6 miles per hour (181.2 km/h). The home run gave the team a 5-1 lead. Including the home run, he finished 4-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored in the team’s 6-4 victory.
This year, Acuña is putting together his best performance in his sixth season in the big leagues. His already proven long-ball power and quickness have been matched by his refinement. In 64 games, he is batting .333 (258-for-86) with 13 home runs, 37 RBI, and a .975 OPS. He’s one of the few players in the league with double-digit stolen bases and over five on-base percentage. Acuña Jr. and Corbin Carroll (23-Arizona Diamondbacks) are the only two in the entire league. They’ve both excelled at hitting for power, power, and power.
At the start of the season, Acuña Jr. was tied with Bae for the National League lead in stolen bases. But as the season progressed, he began to struggle with the league’s big guns. Usually, long-hitting players don’t have fast feet, so his performance with both weapons has attracted attention.
MLB.com reporter Sarah Lance wrote on social media after the game, “Acuña Jr. hit his 29th home run of the 2019 season with a bat speed of at least 112 miles per hour (180.2 kilometers per hour). That’s the third-most in the majors during that span, trailing only Judge (34) and Stanton (31).”
According to MLB.com, Acuña Jr. is on pace to become the first player in either league to reach 30 (home runs) and 60 (stolen bases) this year. He’s having a breakout season, and we can’t wait to see how he finishes 2023.