MLB News: Ronald Acuña’s Historic Season Continues

Atlanta Braves‘ Ronald Acuña Jr. joined the prestigious MLB 40-40 club on a soaring home run against Washington Nationals, marking his 40th homer alongside 68 steals in 2023, becoming the fifth achiever of this feat. Acuña’s entry into this exclusive club places him with legends like José Canseco (1988), Barry Bonds (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998), and Alfonso Soriano (2006), though his steals tower over the former highest of 46 by Rodriguez.

At 25, he already made history last month with an unparalleled 30 home runs and 60 steals. The MVP contender showcased his prowess earlier in 2019, nearing the 40-40 mark with 41 homers and 37 steals. Acuña’s 2023 performance for the Braves is stellar, slashing .335/.414/.592, with a career record of 34 leadoff homers and 101 RBIs this season alone.

Comparatively, Acuña’s 40-40 season shows a significant edge with his stolen base count of 68, overshadowing Rodriguez’s 46 in 1998. His 40 homers are just two shy of the 42 homers by Canseco, Bonds, and Rodriguez during their 40-40 seasons, with Soriano leading at 46. With his recent homer streak and plans to play out the season, Acuña is poised to surpass these figures.


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The Braves’ outfielder is also eyeing a steal count over 70, especially with upcoming games against the steal-allowing Nationals. Despite the introduction of larger bases and restricted pitcher pickoff throws, Acuña’s speed shines in a league where only two others have crossed 50 steals.

Analyzing by OPS, Acuña’s 1.006 leads the National League, only second to Bonds’ 1.076 in 40-40 history, underscoring his superior performance. A glance back to 2019 reveals that, if not for a hamstring strain, Acuña might have already had a second 40-40 season under his belt. This near-miss places him as a potential multi 40-40 achiever in future, given his youthful agility and fervor for the game.

Back in 2019, he clinched 41 homers and 37 steals, showcasing his potential early in his MLB career. Unlike Rodriguez and Canseco, who never crossed 30 steals outside their 40-40 season, and Soriano who narrowly missed another 40-40 in 2002, Acuña’s prospects for repeating this feat look promising, reinforced by his young age and the new league regulations favoring base stealing.


His determination is evident, averaging 42 steals per 162 games, always keen on playing if fit, a testament to his unmatched dedication and Brian Snitker’s confidence in his capabilities. Acuña’s prowess isn’t confined to the 40-40 club; as of Friday, he leads MLB with 140 runs, 207 hits, and 365 total bases, a trajectory that began manifesting in 2018 when he bagged the NL Rookie of the Year title, and intensified this Tuesday with his fourth two-homer game of the season against the Phillies.