The Atlanta Braves currently own a four-game winning streak and sit behind the Philadelphia Phillies by a half-game (½) in the NL East. A large component for their success after the All-Star break can be credited towards rookie sensation Ronald Acuna Jr. The 20-year-old has been positioned in the lead-off spot following the break and his extraordinary talent at the plate has come to life.
Ronald Acuna Jr. finding his groove
Atlanta is 6-5 over their 11 games during the second half of the season and are quickly finding contributing pieces in each component in their lineup. More importantly, the Braves are jumping off to early leads thanks to Acuna Jr. and his bat. Since being renamed the leadoff hitter on July 20, Acuna Jr. is hitting an impressive .357. Along with his average comes power, as he’s blasted four shots into the bleachers.
Being the first batter a pitcher faces to start the game, the left-fielder is seeing more fastballs in the early part of the count. This has heavily worked in Acuna Jr.’s favor. Within the past 11 games, he’s hit a leadoff home run, triple, double, and single. His versatility and talented skill set at the plate gives Atlanta early opportunities to strike first and they’ve been capitalizing.
In the second half of the season, Acuna Jr. leads this Braves lineup with 11 runs scored, six walks, 15 hits, four home runs, one triple, four stolen bases, a .449 on-base percentage, and is slugging .762. Following his 10th and 11th homers of the season, Acuna Jr. has joined elite company in being only the 7th Braves player under 20-years-old to hit 10-plus long balls in a season. In that lists includes Hank Aaron, Eddie Matthews, Andruw Jones, Jason Heyward, Joe Torre, and Bob Horner. (Credit: @KevinMcAlpin)
#Braves with 10+ HR as a 20 year old:
These numbers are remarkable for such a young and inexperienced rookie, but he’s displaying to the MLB world, he’s the real deal. He’ll be a crucial member anchoring the Braves to an NL East title. With his power at the plate, he can easily reach 20 in his rookie campaign and set the stage for an unprecedented MLB career.