Venezuelan-born Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves is one of the most dominant Hotazuns in the game.
While the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani is dominating the American League (AL) with his 40-homer-200-strikeout pace, in the NL, Acuna is on pace for a historic 30-homer-70-steal season.
Both players are strong MVP candidates in both leagues. MLB.com recently conducted a mock poll of 47 experts, with 23 voting for Ohtani in the AL and 42 voting for Acuna in the NL.
The overwhelming support for Acuna, and why he should be the MVP, was evident in a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 15.
Acuna went 5-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs, one run scored, and one stolen base in game one of the doubleheader, and 3-for-3 with a home run, one RBI, and two runs scored in game two. Atlanta won Game 1 10-7 and Game 2 6-5 behind Acuna’s performance.
Atlanta improved to 42-26 and moved into sole possession of first place in the NL East. Detroit, on the other hand, dropped to 27-39 and remained in fourth place in the AL Central.
In game one, leadoff hitter Acuna cut the deficit to two runs in the top of the third inning with a two-run shot to center field. She took a five-pitch, 85.2-mph slider from Detroit right-hander Liz Olson over the center field fence.
In the fourth inning, when Atlanta rallied for five runs, she lined a two-out, two-run single to right field to cut the deficit to 7-4. Acuna completed his 10th three-hit game of the season with an RBI single to right in the seventh inning to make it 8-5. Akuna then stole second base, but was unable to reach home on a wild pitch.
In game two, Acuna drew a leadoff walk and came home on Matt Olson’s single up the middle and Austin Riley’s sacrifice fly. With a 2-0 lead,스포츠토토 he led off the third inning with a three-pitch sweeper from right-handed starter Michael Lorenzen that traveled 81.8 mph over the center field fence for a solo shot. It hit the top of the ivy-covered Chevrolet Fountain billboard behind the center field fence at Comerica Park. It traveled a whopping 461 feet (141 meters).
He followed with an infield fly in the fourth inning and a walk in the seventh before failing to steal second base. In the ninth, he was retired on an infield grounder.
For the season, Acuna is batting .333 (276-for-92) with 15 home runs, 44 RBIs, 59 runs scored, 29 doubles, a .405 on-base percentage, a .580 slugging percentage, and a .985 OPS. He was first in the NL in runs scored, first in stolen bases, and first in hits. He runs the bases at an average speed of 8.6 meters per second, which is a great combination of qualities for a leadoff hitter in every category.
If he keeps this pace through the end of the season, Acuna could hit 36 home runs and steal 69 bases. 30-70 is not a pipe dream. A 30-homer, 60-double season has yet to happen in Major League Baseball history. Only two players have ever hit 30 homers and 50 steals: Eric Davis of the Cincinnati Reds in 1987 (37 homers, 50 steals) and Barry Bonds of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1990 (33 homers, 52 steals).