Braves News: Ronald Acuña Jr. named NL player of the month for March/April
By Chase Owens
Ronald Acuña Jr. is back folks. The Atlanta Braves right fielder certainly looks more like the near 40/40 player he was in 2019. To start off the 2023 season Ronald posted an impressive .352/.440/.546 slash line across 27 games in March and April. Tag that along with a 167 wRC+, 1.6 fWAR, and a league leading 13 stolen bases; all of which was enough to earn Acuña Jr. his second career NL player of the month honor.
It's not just the raw numbers that Ronald posted, but it is the flying around the base paths, the majestic home runs he has hit, and the gradual comfort he has shown in his surgically repaired knee to lead Braves fans to believe their superstar player is truly back to form. 2023 looks so much more like the 2021 version of Ronald, the one in which he was carrying a Braves team struggling to get over .500 for the first half of the year. But after the heartbreaking knee injury down in Miami, the Braves star eventually would come back in 2022. However, from his own words Braves fans knew he wasn't quite 100% healthy yet.
His early start to the 2023 season has more than anything confirmed he once again is fully healthy and a legit top five player in all of baseball once again. Ronald is setting the table for one of the best Braves lineups we have seen, and one that is only going to get stronger once at full strength. After adding another homer and stolen base to start the month of May, Acuña Jr. is now second in MLB in fWAR (1.9) just behind the AL player of the month Matt Chapman (2.0) via Fangraphs.
MVP season coming?
If you really want to know how back Ronald Acuña Jr. is look no further than his percentile rankings on his baseball savant page. As we know a lot of red is a great thing. He is showcasing all of his tools and ranks in the 98th percentile or better in average exit velocity, xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, and arm strength. All the signs point that he is the player he was pre-injury.
Oddly enough Ronald's other career player of the month award came in April of 2021. A year in which he looked like he was on his way to his first career MVP before the ACL injury. With the way he is playing right now this might not be the only player of the month award Ronald captures this year. Let's hope Acuña Jr. continues this hot start and possibly gets that MVP award added to his trophy room by seasons end.