Ronald Acua Jr. on Thursday was rewarded for his groundbreaking 2023 season — he picked up the primary Nationwide League MVP award of his still-young profession.
Acua beat out the Los Angeles Dodgers tandem of Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman in a unanimous vote to select up MVP honors. He led the Atlanta Braves to a 104-win common season on the energy of a ridiculous marketing campaign on the plate — one which reconceptualized what might be attainable for a serious league hitter to attain in a single season.
Breaking new floor for hitters
Acua hit a career-high .337 in 2023, and he led MLB in hits (217) and runs scored (149) whereas batting on the high of the Braves‘ explosive lineup. Acua tied his profession with 41 dwelling runs due to a late-season energy surge, and he led MLB in a single different class — stolen bases, with 73.
In doing so, Acua grew to become the primary participant in baseball historical past to hit 40 dwelling runs and steal 70 luggage in a single 12 months, obliterating the earlier commonplace of 40 homers and 40 steals (the so-called “40-40 Membership“). The best fielder was named an NL All-Star for the fourth time and received his third Silver Slugger award in 5 seasons.
Acua’s huge reputation: Followers mobbed him in Denver!
Poised for a repeat?
At solely 25 years outdated, Acua is able the place he might rack up a number of MVP awards when it is all stated and performed.
Although the Braves did not get previous the Division Sequence this season, there’s little to recommend Atlanta will not run out one other robust workforce in 2024 — in reality, oddsmakers have them listed because the favorites to win the World Sequence subsequent 12 months. The Braves have lots of their high gamers signed on to long-term offers at a team-friendly wage, together with Acua — who’s signed via 2026 with workforce choices for 2027 and 2028.
So long as he stays wholesome, Acua ought to proceed to impress baseball and will open subsequent season as the favourite to repeat as MVP — one thing that has not occurred within the NL since 2009.