The Braves were Statcast darlings in 2022 but somehow were even more impressive in 2023. The team hit the ball harder than any other team (spoiler: by a long shot). Ronald Acuña Jr. had enough mind-breaking stats to get his own dedicated section.
And of course, while some moments were very memorable, some Statcast stats may surprise you, like a pitcher with a top-five pitch in the game or who the team's third-best defender was.
Let's get into it.
Braves Statcast standouts - Ronald Acuña Jr.
121.2 MPH BOMB!
A different Braves player had the hardest-hit homer in baseball in 2023, months before this homer (more on that later), but Ronnie decided to up that by nearly three miles an hour.
Not only was this the hardest-hit ball in 2023 (of any result), it was the sixth hardest-hit ball in Statcast history and the third hardest-hit home run in Statcast history.
What's even crazier is that the ball traveled 454 feet despite having just a 19º launch angle. There have only been six homers hit at that angle since 2015 that went further.
Here's the video again (this one includes Mookie's reaction).
310 batted balls over 95 MPH
The 2023 NL MVP had 310 batted balls over 95 MPH, the most in baseball.
This number is a lot, considering it was the best in baseball. However, some might not realize just how absurd this number is.
Rafael Devers is also a very talented baseball player. This season, he finished second to Ronald Acuña Jr. in balls hit over 95 MPH.
"How much did Ronnie beat out Devers by in this category?" you may ask. 5? 10? Maybe even 15?
Try 58! The gap between Acuña and Devers is the same gap between Devers and Ozzie Albies, who finished 41st in MLB with 194 batted balls above 95 MPH.
104.1 MPH throw
Bluntly put, Statcast wasn't a fan of Ronald Acuña's defense when it didn't come to throwing. You can believe what you want to believe about his defense, but one thing is indisputable: he has an absolute canon.
This throw on a sac fly that shouldn't have even been close-clocked in at 104.1 MPH. At the time, it was the hardest throw since 2017 (although Brenton Doyle one-upped Acuña a few months later).
Also, as a bonus, check out this throw to nab Tyler O'Neill at the plate. It was *only* 92.7 MPH, but it caused quite the controversy in the Cardinals dugout.