4 Braves that are playing their way into awards consideration in 2023

It is always good news when the Braves have players on both sides of the ball that could take home MLB's biggest individual prizes.
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Ronald Acuna Jr.

This is about as easy a name to include on this sort of list as you will find as Ronald Acuna Jr. has been the favorite to win NL MVP since the season began. Everyone is well aware of the potential that Ronnie has when he is on the field and now that Ronald is fully healthy again, fans are finally getting to see how much of an impact he makes on a night in, night out basis for the Braves.

Ronald's numbers are just absurd. Through 121 games, he has posted a .334/.420/.569 slash line with 6.1 fWAR and that was before he launched his 28th homer of the season last night. Thanks to his game changing speed that has already yielded 55 stolen bases this year, he is on the precipice of a 30/50 season that we haven't seen since Barry Bonds and Eric Davis' days and 40/50 season is entirely possible if he can get on a home run hot streak. The NL MVP voting could get weird this year as a pair of teammates in Acuna/Olson as well as the Dodgers' Freddie Freeman/Mookie Betts could result in some vote splitting happening, but Ronnie remains the favorite to take the award home if he can keep this up.

Sean Murphy

The focus here is rightly on the major awards categories, but finding some time to show some love and appreciation for Sean Murphy seems like the right thing to do. Through the first half of the 2023 season, it was Murphy and not Olson that had the best argument for inclusion in the MVP discussion as he was hitting .306 with a 166 wRC+ in the first half while playing a ton behind the plate with Travis d'Arnaud dealing with a concussion.

Murphy has cooled off at the plate in the second half and has played less now that TdA is healthy again, but there is no denying the impact he has had on the defensive end. Funnily enough, Murphy's chief competition for the catching Gold Glove in the National League seems to be the guy that was traded for him as the Brewers' William Contreras has put together an excellent season both at the plate and in the field for Milwaukee. Murphy's reputation seems like it could carry him when the dust settles here, but his season deserves some recognition even if he doesn't take home the hardware.

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