Ronald Jose Acuña Jr.
His brother, Luisangel, is an infielder in the Texas Rangers organization…Luisangel, born in March 2002, completed his first professional season in 2019, earning Baseball America DSL All-Star honors...His father, Ron, was an outfielder in the minor leagues for three different organizations (New York-NL from 1999-2004, Toronto in 2005 and Milwaukee in 2006)...His grandfather, Rosmaldo “Romo” Blanco, was a pitcher in Houston’s system.
Awards: Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger (OF), Second Team All-MLB (OF), Luis Aparicio Award...The Luis Aparicio Award is given annually to the best performance in a season by a Venezuelan-born major-league player… The award is voted on by Venezuelan and international Spanish-speaking members of the media that cover baseball…Acuña Jr. was the co-winner of this award in 2018 w/ Milwaukee’s Jesús Aguilar...N.L. Ranks: AB/HR (11.43, 1st), OPS (.987, 5th), on-base % (.406, 7th), slugging % (.581, 8th), walks (38, T6th)...Was one of three Rawlings Gold Glove finalists for N.L. centerfielders…Had no errors in 61 total chances, across 215.0 innings in 34 games (30 starts)...Also appeared in 28 games (16 starts) in right field and had no errors in 41 total chances at that position…Was worth 0.4 defensive bWAR and has 1.3 total defensive bWAR in his three-year career...Hit four leadoff home runs, batting out of the leadoff spot in all 46 games he started…Only the Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu had more such homers (5)...Has a franchise-record 19 leadoff homers in his career…Felipe Alou held the previous record with 17, doing so in 633 games leading off…Acuña Jr. broke the record, hitting his 18th leadoff homer on 9/5 vs. Washington in his 210th game atop the Braves lineup…That was his 293rd career game, and no player in majorleague history had more leadoff homers through their first 300 career games...It was Acuña Jr.’s third major-league season…That is also the most leadoff homers through a player’s first three seasons in history…Barry Bonds held the previous record, hitting 16 in his first three seasons (1986-88)...One of his leadoff home runs came on 8/26 in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Yankees…He took Gerrit Cole deep, hitting a homer that traveled a projected 473 feet, the second longest of his career, and the second longest by a Braves player in the Statcast era (since ’15)...His only longer career home run was another leadoff homer, on 9/25 off Boston’s Chris Mazza…It went to the back row of the left-field bleachers, traveling a projected 495 feet, the longest homer in the majors in 2020 and the farthest homer ever hit at Truist Park…There have been just four longer homers since Statcast was introduced – Nomar Mazara, 505 feet in 2019, Giancarlo Stanton, 504 feet in 2016, Aaron Judge, 496 feet in 2017 and Miguel Sanó, 496 feet in 2019...Half of his home runs (7) came in six doubleheader games…He twice hit three home runs in a doubleheader, doing so on 8/9 at Philadelphia and 9/4 vs. Washington…He is first Braves player to hit three homers in a doubleheader twice in a season since Joe Torre in 1965 and 1967...Before Acuña Jr., the last Braves player with three home runs in a doubleheader was OF David Justice on 8/7/90 vs. San Diego…Justice hit a solo homer in game one, before going 4-for-4 with two homers in the nightcap...Justice also hit two more home runs the following day… Acuña Jr. has now homered in both ends of a doubleheader three times in his career (also, 8/13/18 against Miami)...Featured among his 14 home runs were his 70th and 80th career homers…His 70th came in Game 2 of a doubleheader on 8/9 at the Phillies, in his 248th career game…He became the third quickest player to 70 home runs by games played in franchise history, trailing Bob Horner (260 games) and Eddie Mathews (283)...He hit his 80th homer on 9/20 at New York-NL, in his 307th game…Only six players in the history of the game reached that total in fewer games played (Joe DiMaggio, Bob Horner, Ryan Howard, Aaron Judge, Chuck Klein and Gary Sánchez)...Drew 38 walks, tied for the sixth most in the N.L., despite playing in fewer games than everyone ahead of him on that list…Acuña had 23 walks in September, the fourth most in the league...His 18.8% walk rate was fourth in the majors, trailing Washington’s Juan Soto (20.9%), Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper (20.1%) and New York-AL’s Aaron Hicks (19.4%)...This total was nearly double his previous career best (10.6% in 2019)...Drew a walk in a career-most six straight games, from 8/2-8...Reached base safely four or more times in five games this season, one off the major-league lead held by four players including teammate Freddie Freeman…Since his debut year in 2018, he has reached safely in a game at least four times on 35 occasions...Played in his 300th career game on 9/12 at Washington…Had 78 home runs and 58 stolen bases at the time of the game…Is the only player in major-league history to reach 75 home runs and 50 stolen bases by his 300th career game...Had career bests in average exit velocity (92.4) and hard-hit rate (57.0%), the latter of which was fourth in the majors, trailing just Fernando Tatis Jr (62.2%), Travis d’Arnaud (57.8%) and Miguel Sanó (57.3%)...In the Braves’ record-setting 29-9 win over Miami on 9/9, had a single, double, home run, three walks and drove in a single-game career-best five…Became just the fourth player in the N.L. since 1901 to record at least three hits, three walks and five RBI in a game, and the first to do so since Cincinnati’s Sean Casey on 5/19/99 at Colorado (4 H, 3 BB, 6 RBI, 5 R)...Missed 10 games with left wrist inflammation… Was sidelined from 8/12-25…The Braves were just 5-5 (.500) in those games…Conversely, Atlanta went 30-20 (.667) in all other games...Made his second career Opening Day start… At 22, became the youngest Braves OF to start consecutive Opening Day games since Andruw Jones, who started three straight from 1997-99 (Age 19-21).
In 12 postseason games, hit .217/.333/.370 (10- for-46) with four doubles, one home run, three RBI, seven walks and 10 runs scored...His four doubles were the most by a Braves outfielder in a single postseason...Started Atlanta’s first six games in center field and the club’s final six games in right field. His only home run led off Game 1 of the Division Series, off Miami’s Sandy Alcantara…At 22 years, 293 days, became the youngest player in baseball history to hit a leadoff homer in a postseason game...It was the fourth such homer in Braves postseason history…Bill Bruton first did so in Game 2 of the 1958 World Series, and it was later matched by Marquis Grissom in Game 2 of the 1995 Division Series and Marcus Giles in Game 2 of the 2001 League Championship Series...Acuña Jr. was the first Atlanta player to step to the plate in the series…He is the 13th player in history to start a postseason series with a home run in the team’s first plate appearance…The last player to do so was Tampa Bay’s Yandy Díaz in the 2019 A.L. Wild Card Game...Went 6-for-15 (.400) with three extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 HR) in the first three games…Over the last nine contests, had just four hits in 31 at-bats (.129) with two extra-base hits, both doubles, and one RBI... Played through lingering left wrist soreness.
Finished his first full major league season hitting .280/.365/.518 (175-for-626) in 156 games, while ranking among National League leaders in runs (127, 1st), stolen bases (37, 1st), hits (175, 7th) and home runs (41,T5th)...Hit a team-most 41 home runs and stole a National League-most 37 stolen bases, becoming one of five players in baseball history to reach those numbers in a season...The four others are José Canseco (42 HR, 40 SB in 1988), Barry Bonds (42 HR, 40 SB in 1996), Alex Rodríguez (42 HR, 46 SB in 1998) and Alfonso Soriano (46 HR, 41 SB in 2006)...Acuña Jr. Jr. is the youngest of that group...Became the second player in baseball history to have at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season prior to his 22nd birthday...The only other player to do so was Mike Trout, who had 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases as a 20-year-old in 2012...Only three Braves have gone 30/30 at any age (Ron Gant, 1990 and 1991; Dale Murphy, 1983; Hank Aaron, 1963)...Reached the 30/30 mark in Atlanta's 130th game, the quickest a Braves player has ever accomplished the feat...Is the 11th player in Braves history with at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season, and the first since 2012, when OF Jason Heyward had 27 and 21...Also had 26 home runs and 16 stolen bases last season... He is the sixth player in baseball history, and the first since Mike Trout in 2012 and 2013, with two 20-homer/15-steal seasons prior to his 22nd birthday...Stole a base in a modern-era franchise record-tying five consecutive games from 7/16-20 (seven total in that time)...He was the fifth Braves player with as long a streak and the first since Otis Nixon from 7/20-24/1991...Had a major league-most 24 stolen bases after the All-Star break...Scored 127 runs, tied for the third most in franchise modern-era history (since 1900)... Hank Aaron also scored 127 in 1962 with Milwaukee... Dale Murphy scored a franchise record 131 in 1983, while Rafael Furcal scored 130 in 2003... Was the first Brave to lead the National League in runs scored since 1985, when Dale Murphy scored 118...Scored his 100th run of the season on August 13, Atlanta's 121st game of the season…He is just the third Braves player in the modern era to reach 100 runs that fast…Dale Murphy reached the mark in 114 games in 1983, while Tommy Holmes needed 115 games in 1945...The only other players 21 or younger to score 100 runs by their team's 121st game in the last 112 seasons were Hallof-Famers Lloyd Waner (1927), Mel Ott (1929), Jimmie Foxx (1929), Joe DiMaggio (1936), Ted Williams (1940), and Al Kaline (1955), plus Vada Pinson (1959) and Alex Rodríguez (1996)...Became just the third player in baseball history to hit 40 home runs in a single season prior to his 22nd birthday, joining two Hall of Famers in Eddie Mathews, who hit 47 in 1953 as a 21-yearold, and Mel Ott, who had 42 as a 20-year-old in 1929...Only Ott was younger at the time of his 40th...Was 21 years, 275 days when he hit his 40th on September 19 against Philadelphia, while Mathews hit his when he 21 years, 316 days...Was the 12th Braves player (23rd time overall) to hit 40 home runs in a season and the first since Andruw Jones (41 in 2006)...Hit a home run in four consecutive games, from August 6-9 (two against Minnesota, two against Miami)...He also had a franchise record-tying five-game home run streak last season from August 11-14...He is the first player in major league history to have two home run streaks of four-plus games prior to turning 22...Hit his 50th career home run on July 21 against Washington...Was 21 years, 215 days old at the time of the homer, the fourth youngest player in baseball history to reach that milestone...The three younger were Mel Ott, Tony Conigliaro and fellow Braves outfielder Andruw Jones...Hit his 60th career home run on August 13, becoming the sixth player in baseball history to hit that many home runs prior to turning 22...He joins Mel Ott (86), Tony Conigliaro (84), Eddie Mathews (72), Frank Robinson (60) and Ken Griffey Jr. (60)...Is one of 17 players in the modern era with two 20-homer seasons before his 22nd birthday... Of the 16 prior, seven hit 500 home runs (Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Frank Robinson, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodríguez), while eight are in the Hall of Fame (Ott, Williams, Mantle, Mathews, Robinson, Griffey Jr., Al Kaline and Orlando Cepeda)...Finished the campaign with 101 RBI...He reached the 100-RBI mark at 21 years, 276 days, the 14th youngest in baseball history to reach 100 RBI in a season…Hall-of-Famers Al Kaline and Mel Ott each had two of these seasons…The only other active players ahead of Acuña Jr. on his list are Miguel Cabrera (2004), Albert Pujols (2001) and Juan Soto (2019)...Moved to the leadoff spot of the lineup on May 10...Hit .280/.364/.528 with 34 home runs and 78 RBI in 118 games out of the No. 1 spot...Atlanta went 78-41 (.655) in those games...Set franchise single-season records for most home runs and RBI batting first in the lineup...Had 10 more home runs than Felipe Alou, who held the then-franchise record with 24 in 1966...Ray Powell previously held the RBI record with 74 in 1921...Hit seven leadoff home runs, the second most in the N.L., behind Los Angeles' Joc Pederson (9)...Also had eight of those home runs last season, a single-season franchise record...His 15 leadoff home runs are the second most in franchise history, behind Felipe Alou's 17...No other player in major league history hit more than five leadoff home runs before turning 22 (Mike Trout had five)...Reached base in a career-high 32 consecutive games, from June 19-July 28, hitting .290/.388/.496 with eight home runs, 15 RBI and 33 runs scored over the stretch...That was tied for the fifth longest streak in baseball in 2019, trailing Jorge Polanco (37 games), Pete Alonso and Max Muncy (34 games) and Trea Turner (33 games)... Alex Bregman also reached in 32 straight...Played in his second career postseason series, hitting .444/.565/.889 (8-for-18) with one home run and two RBI in five games…Five of his eight hits went for extra bases (3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR)...Recorded four hits in Game 4, the most by a Braves player in a postseason game since Bret Boone, who also had four hits, in Game 3 of the 1999 World Series.
Finished his first major league season hitting .293 (127-for-433) with a team-high 26 home runs and a .917 OPS in 111 games...Won the National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, collecting 27 of 30 first-place votes to become the eighth Braves player to earn the honor ... Entered the year as the No. 2 overall prospect according to MLBPipeline.com and began the season with Triple-A Gwinnett…The club selected his contract from the Stripers on 4/25 and he made his MLB debut that night at Cincinnati at the age of 20 years, 128 days...He became the youngest player to debut for the Braves since Julio Teheran debuted at the age of 20 years, 100 days on 5/7/11...The last younger position player was Wilson Betemit in 2001...Betemit debuted at 19 years, 320 days ... Singled in his debut against Kevin Shackelford for his first career hit, before hitting his first homer the next day off Homer Bailey in his first plate appearance...Acuña Jr., at 20 years, 129 days, became the youngest player to homer for the Braves since Andruw Jones hit a solo shot on 8/23/97 vs. Cincinnati at age of 20 years, 122 days ... Hit eight leadoff home runs to set the franchise single-season record and pass the previous mark of seven, set by Marquis Grissom in 1996 ... Became one of five players in baseball history to reach 26 home runs in a season prior to his 21st birthday (Mel Ott, 42 in 1929; Frank Robinson, 34 in 1956; Tony Conigliaro, 32 in 1965; Al Kaline, 27 in 1955)...Became the 10th player in history to have 25 home runs and 15 steals in his rookie season and the first since Mike Trout in 2012 ... Homered in five straight games, 8/11-8/14, to tie the franchise modern-era record for most consecutive games with a homer...Hit six total over his stretch...Prior to Acuña Jr., the last Braves player to homer in five straight was Brian McCann in 2006...Acuña Jr. became the youngest player in baseball history to homer in four straight games ... Made starts at all three outfield positions (13 games, 8 starts in center field; 101 games, 96 starts in left field; 3 games, 3 starts in right field) ... Collected 55 extra-base hits through his first 100 games...Over the last 110 seasons, only five players in history had more through 100 games, including Joe DiMaggio, who had a record 69 ... Finished August with 39 hits, becoming the first N.L. rookie over the last 110 seasons to collect at least 39 hits and 11 home runs in a calendar month...Won the N.L. Rookie of the Month award for August...Also named as the N.L. Player of the Week for the week ending August 19 ... His streak of three consecutive games with a lead-off home run ended, 8/15, after he was hit with the first pitch by José Ureña…He became just the second player with as long a streak in baseball's modern era; Baltimore's Brady Anderson holds the major league record with four straight, accomplishing the feat from 4/18-21/96 ... Coupled his first career home run on 4/26 at Cincinnati with one by 2B Ozzie Albies (21 years, 110 days) to become the second pair of teammates as young as Albies or younger in the franchise's modern era to homer in the same game...The only other time was on 9/23/78, also vs. CIN...Glenn Hubbard and Bob Horner each hit a solo shot that day ... By combined age, Albies and Acuña Jr. were 41 years, 238 days old on 4/26... The last major league duo younger by combined age to homer in the same game was Ricky Seilheimer (19 years, 331 days) and Harold Baines (21 years, 133 days) for the White Sox on 7/26/80... Seilheimer and Baines were 41 years, 99 days ... Using players as young or younger than Albies, the previous duo younger by combined age to homer in the same game was Philadelphia's Mike Anderson and Greg Luzinski on 8/28/71...The two 20-year-olds each went deep in a 6-3 win vs. PIT ... Albies and Acuña Jr. both added doubles in that game...Again, using only players as young or younger than Albies, the only other duo since at least 1908 to homer and double in the same game was Boston's Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr on 7/4/39 in game one of a doubleheader against Philadelphia (AL) ... Named to the MLB team that played in the 2018 Japan All-Star Series in November…Finished 5-for-24 (.208) with a home run in five games ... Hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning, 7/3 at NYY, to give Atlanta the 5-3 win...With his game-winning homer, became the only player to hit a game-winning extra-inning home run at Yankee Stadium prior to his 21st birthday...Prior to Acuña Jr., the youngest player with a game-winning extra-inning home run at Yankee Stadium was MIN's Kent Hrbek (21 years, 95 days) on 8/24/81 ... At 20 years, 196 days, became the youngest player to hit a game-winning, extra-inning home run for the Braves since Andruw Jones (20 years, 3 days) on 4/26/97 vs. SD ... Led off in the starting lineup for the first time in his career on 7/20 at WSH in the first game out of the All-Star break...Went 3-for-4, while hitting a home run and robbing one in the fifth inning...Also stole two bases, and at 20 years, 214 days, became the youngest player in baseball's modern era (since 1900) to homer and steal two bases in the same game ... From 8/11-17, reached in eight consecutive plate appearances leading off the game...That is the longest such streak in Atlanta franchise history, surpassing a six-game run by Martín Prado, 5/11-16/11 ... Homered to begin the streak on a Saturday, walked on Sunday, homered in each end of Monday's doubleheader, homered again on Tuesday, was hit by a pitch on Wednesday, and singled on Thursday and Friday ... His run became the longest leading off the game since the New York Mets' José Reyes also had an eight-game streak, 6/24-7/2/11 ... On 8/13 vs. MIA, became the fourth player to ever hit leadoff home runs in both ends of a doubleheader and the first to do so since 8/21/99, when Baltimore's Brady Anderson accomplished the feat against the Chicago White Sox ... Became the first National Leaguer to ever do so, as the other two players to hit leadoff home runs in both games of a doubleheader were Oakland's Rickey Henderson (1993) and Boston's Harry Hooper (1913)...Hooper hit four home runs that season...Both Henderson and Hooper are in the Hall of Fame ... Hit .322 (85-for-264) in 68 games after the All-Star break, with 19 home runs, 54 runs scored, a .403 on-base percentage and a .625 slugging percentage...His 85 hits were the second most in the majors post-break, while his 54 runs tied for the second most and his 19 home runs were tied for fourth most...His 1.028 OPS was the fifth highest ... Became the youngest player in baseball history to hit a grand slam in a postseason game when he did so in the second inning of Game 3 of the NLDS vs. Los Angeles…Prior to his slam, New York's Mickey Mantle was the youngest to hit a grand slam in the playoffs, doing so at the age of 21 in Game 5 of the 1953 World Series against Brooklyn ... Acuña Jr.'s slam, which came on a 3-1, second-inning pitch from Walker Buehler, was the seventh in Braves postseason history and the first since Adam LaRoche hit one in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS at Houston…It also marked the first slam of Acuña Jr.'s career.
Named Minor League Player of the Year by both Baseball America and USA Today, Hitting Prospect of the Year by MLBPipeline.com and Organizational Player of the Year by the Braves following the season after batting .325/.374/.522 across three levels of Atlanta's system. ..Led the minor leagues with 181 hits, 139 games and 557 at-bats, while pacing all Atlanta farmhands in batting average (.325), runs (88), doubles (31), triples (tied, 8), home runs (tied, 21), RBI (82) OPS (.896) and stolen bases (44)... Opened the season with High-A Florida and appeared in 28 games before a promotion to Double-A Mississippi on 5/9…Played 57 games with the M-Braves before transferring to Triple-A Gwinnett on 7/13...Was twice named Southern League Player of the Week…First earned the honor after batting .560 (14-for-25) with six runs and 10 RBI from 5/9-14, his first week in the league…Garnered the award again two weeks later after hitting .417/.400/.667 from 5/22-28…Also earned Southern League All-Star honors...Named International League Player of the Month for August after batting .364 and leading the IL in hits (47) and runs (24)…Was also named IL Player of the Week for the period of 8/14-20 after batting .481 with three home runs and eight RBI. ..From his arrival in Gwinnett on 7/13 through the end of the season, led the International League in runs (38) and hits (76), and ranked fourth in RBI (tied, 33), fourth in steals (11) and seventh in home runs (tied, 9)...Played for the World Team in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game and started in center field...Following the season appeared in 23 games with the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League and batted .325/.414/.639 to become the youngest player in league history to be named MVP…He led the league in runs (22), home runs (7), extra-base hits (12) and total bases (53). ..Entered the 2017 season ranked as Atlanta's No. 2 prospect by Baseball Prospectus, No. 6 by Baseball America and No. 8 by MLB.com
Played 30 games with Single-A Rome to open the season and batted .300 (33-for-110) with a .389 OBP before being placed on the 7-day disabled list on 5/10 with an injured thumb… Activated from the DL on 8/26 after a two-game rehabilitation stint with the GCL Braves ... Ended his first full professional season batting .311 (46-for-148) in 40 total games with Rome… Swiped 14 bases in just 42 total games, good for ninth-most among Braves farmhands ... Batted just .154 (4-for-26) with three runs and three RBI in seven postseason games, but three of his hits went for extra bases (one double, two triples) as Rome won the South Atlantic League Championship Series ... Named by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in the South Atlantic League at the conclusion of the season ... Entered 2016 tabbed by Baseball America as Atlanta's No. 28 prospect.
Split his first professional season between the GCL Braves and rookie-level Danville at 17 years old, combining to hit .269 (54-for-201) with 22 extra-base hits and 18 RBI in 55 games ... Ended the season in the Top 10 among all Braves farmhands in OPS (5th, .818) and stolen bases (T8th, 16) ... Exited the year tabbed by Baseball America as the 11th-best prospect in the GCL and the 14th-best farmhand in the Appalachian League ... Fell a home run short of the cycle in his second professional game, going 3-for-4 with four runs and an RBI.