Atlanta Braves MVP Candidate Ronald Acuña Jr. is a Superstar, Leader, and Role Model

Atlanta Braves Superstar right fielder Ronald Acuña’s record-setting season makes him an NL MVP front-runner and brought out the curmudgeon in the Phillies manager. His path to this amazing year set an example another struggling superstar talent is trying to emulate.

Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is on pace to win  NL MVP, but he's also become a role model for young players everywhere.
Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is on pace to win NL MVP, but he's also become a role model for young players everywhere. / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Atlanta Braves
Watching the Atlanta Braves celebrate, it's easy to see that these players love each other. / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Rise And Rise Of Ronald Acuña Jr.

Acuña’s arrived in 2018 as a supremely talented, inexperienced 20-year-old who didn’t always hustle. The media made much of Acuña’s quote about Freddie Freeman after his departure, but later, it became clear that Freeman had only reminded him that the team depended on him to give it everything he had every day.

Since those early days, Acuña’s matured into a player who, like Freeman, hates it when he’s not on the field. Paraphrasing his words from an interview on MLB Network with Albert Pujols, Acuña said he’s learned that the game is never easy, and he’s now dedicated to being the best player on the field, not for himself, but for the team. 

Superstar to Role Model

Acuña told Pujols he was afraid he’d never play again but was determined to work hard to recover and improve because his goal is always helping the Braves win.

Young Latin Americans who dream of playing Major League baseball have many stars to admire. They watch the players who have made it to the bigs, looking for someone as a model for their own career. There are many young Latin American stars to choose from but hearing Acuña talk about his journey, they learn that it takes more than talent.

Tatis Jr. knows Acuña's journey as a friend and sees it as a template for his career. But he’s not the only one.

Acuña is a Latin American idol but the way he’s overcome obstacles and achieved success is a template for young players everywhere with talent and a dream of becoming a star in any sport. His message is that they must understand that talent alone isn’t enough. Success requires hard work and the desire to improve every day while remembering that it’s not always about you, it’s about you and your team,  

That’s a Wrap

Some say teams take on the personality of the manager, but in truth, teams take on the personality of all of its leaders, formal and informal. We know Manager Brian Snitker loves all his players, and it was clear from day one that Ozzie and Ronnie love each other. 

While Acuña leads the lineup and is the no doubt superstar on the team, the rise of Orlando Arcia, the resurrection of Marcell Ozuna, the way Michael Harris II and others who joined during the season fit in immediately is due in no small part to the influence of Acuña and Albies.

Call it team chemistry if you wish, but this team loves each other; it’s what makes this team hard to beat. The Atlanta Braves take the field knowing they can win and they never quit trying to seal the deal. If they lose, they file it under yesterday’s news and take the field expecting to win the next game because they trust and love each other.

Win or lose, that’s what makes them champions.