In a season of consistent excellence, Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. has been rewarded with his first MVP award. Acuña Jr. beat out two Dodgers, including Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, the other two finalists.
Although the race was tight at times, Ronald’s consistency and historic numbers were enough to put him over the top. He joined AL MVP winner, Shohei Ohtani as the unanimous winner in each his respective league marking the first time in MLB history that has happened.
Acuña received all 30 first-place votes. His teammate, Matt Olson finished fourth with 223 total points just four points behind Freddie Freeman for third place. Olson got 13 third place votes compared to Freeman's 17. Austin Riley also got some down the ballot love, placing seventh in voting overall.
Ronald felt like he was on his way to his first MVP back in 2021, only to be derailed by a knee injury. After cautiously playing through the 2022 season, Acuña was truly back to superstardom in 2023. He started the MVP quest immediately and didn't let up all season long.
His season numbers left the baseball world in awe and by the looks of it some of the voters as well. His 8.3 fWAR tied Betts for the best in baseball. He had an unreal .337/.416/.596 line to pair with the first 40/70 season in MLB history.
Acuña Jr. led the NL in the following categories: runs (149), hits (217), stolen bases (73), OBP (.416), OPS (1.012), and OPS+ (168). Those statistics are absolutely jaw-dropping and warrant an MVP award.
Even better for Braves fans, Ronald doesn’t turn 26 for almost another month. That’s why Chipper recently said Acuña has yet to reach his ceiling and that is a VERY scary thought for the rest of baseball. If Acuña Jr. does improve upon his 2023 season, this won’t be the only MVP he receives in his career.
For now, let’s just take the time to congratulate Ronald on a special 2023 season and well-earned NL MVP award! Hopefully, this is the first is the first of many in a Braves uniform.