Atlanta Braves: Comparing Ronald Acuña Jr. stats to all-time greats
By Seth Carter
Atlanta Braves OF, Ronald Acuna Jr. is two seasons into what appears to be a legendary career ahead. How does he compare with the all-time greats prior to their 22nd birthday?
I took a quick at players before their age-22 season to see how the Atlanta Braves young superstar, Ronald Acuna Jr. ranks among the game’s all-time greats.
Acuna is fifth all-time in homers through the age-21 season. He has five more than Mike Trout’s 62 and did it in 288 less plate appearances.
Acuna is tied for Stuffy McInnis for steals through the age-21 season with 53 swipes. Stuffy has him beat for the coolest name. It puts him ahead of players like Alex Rodriguez (51), Robin Yount (51), Ken Griffey Jr. (50) and Andruw Jones (50).
It seems like Acuna is a bull’s-eye for opposing pitchers to play target practice with -and he is-tying for fifth all-time for a player before their age-22 season, with 15 HBPs. His 15 are nowhere near the incredible 39 John McGraw of the Orioles accumulated.
Even more interesting with McGraw was his strikeout-to-hit-by-pitch ratio. McGraw had 61 Ks to his 39 HBPs. Through his age-21 season. For every 1.56 strikeouts, McGraw would be hit by a pitch.
McGraw would go on to strikeout just 155 times in his 17-year career, he would end with 134 bean-balls. Pretty cool, huh?
Using weighted factors can help reduce generational differences and create an average to offset the discrepancies in plate appearances for players below their age-22 season.
So here’s a look at how Acuna compares to some of the greats in weighted statistical categories.
Acuna ranks 11th all-time in weighted runs created at 133 (100 being average).
He is tied for 14th all-time in SLG+ with some fantastic company in Juan Soto, Orlando Cepeda, Ken Griffey Jr., and one point ahead of Alex Rodriguez.
Braves’ arch-nemesis, Bryce Harper, came in at 27th with a 115 SLG+. Mickey Mantle sits a few spots ahead with a 128 SLG+.
Acuna’s .897 OPS is good for ninth all-time, one spot ahead of Mickey Mantle and five spots ahead of Ken Griffey Jr.
When it comes to isolated power or ISO, Acuna ranks fourth all-time. The list in order is Eddie Mathews, Ted Williams, Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna Jr., Jimmie Foxx, Frank Robinson, Tony Conigliaro, Mike Trout, Mel Ott, Andruw Jones.
Hopefully, we will continue to see Acuna’s name at the top of the leaderboards for many years to come. Will he be a Hall of Famer for the Braves someday?