“40-40? That’s an even rarer record.”
Ronald Acuna Jr. (26, Atlanta Braves) is on a roll. Two months into the season, he’s the reigning National League MVP. In 52 games this season, he’s 205-for-66 with a .322 batting average, 11 home runs, 27 doubles, 46 RBI, 22 stolen bases, a .407 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage.
He ranks first in the National League in runs scored, first in stolen bases, fourth in hits, fifth in slugging percentage, sixth in on-base percentage, ninth in home runs, and 24th in RBI. He leads the league in every major category except home runs and RBIs. He topped the MLB.com experts’ mock MVP voting for April and is a strong contender for May.
For Korean fans, he’s the favourite to win the stolen base title with Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates, 15 stolen bases). But in reality, the National League’s stolen base category is dominated by Akuna. Rather, the focus in the United States is on his stolen base pace.먹튀검증
Durability has been an issue for Acuna since his debut in 2018, but after undergoing anterior cruciate ligament surgery in 2021 and returning in 2022, his health is no longer an issue. Assuming he plays in all 52 of Atlanta’s games this year and all 110 of their remaining games, he’ll contribute 46.5 stolen bases, or a 78-79 stolen base pace.
It’s clear that Major League Baseball has changed this year, with the implementation of pitch clocks, limiting balls in play, banning excessive shifts, and increasing base sizes, making the game more conducive to stealing. Still, it’s a season where the value of a healthy Acuna can be scary.
MLB.com reported on Monday that Acuna is on pace for a 35-homer, 70-steal season this year, and that he has the potential to rewrite major league history. “It’s not just 40-40 that’s in Akuna’s sights,” it said. Only Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Canseco, and Alfonso Soriano have 40-40 records.
Furthermore, MLB.com pointed out that Acuna is capable of 30 homers and 40 doubles, 20 homers and 50 doubles, and 20 homers and 60 doubles this season. 30-40 hasn’t been achieved since Mike Trout (LA Angels) did it in 2012, while 20-50 was last done by Henry Ramirez and Eric Banes in 2007. 20-60 was last achieved by Rickey Henderson in 1990. Henderson, who holds the major league record for career stolen bases (1406), averaged 19 homers and 67 steals per year.
MLB.com has its eye on the 30-homer-60-steal mark. It has yet to be achieved in the major leagues. Henderson narrowly missed it in 1986 and 1990. Henderson actually hit 28 home runs and 87 RBI in 1986 and 28 home runs and 65 RBI in 1990. MLB.com wrote, “No one who has ever hit more than 30 homers has ever stolen more than 52 bases. Acuna could be the first.” The question is whether the 11-homer Acuna can hit 30 homers this year.