Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves) has surpassed Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) for the top spot in jersey sales in the first half of this season’s Major League Baseball season. Acuna Jr. has enjoyed the same popularity as Ohtani due to his stellar performance as the reigning National League MVP.

He’s already surpassed 40 steals in the first half of the season. With his combination of power and speed, he’s on pace to become the first player in Major League Baseball to hit 40 home runs and 50 doubles.

There have been four 40-homer, 40-double seasons, but 40-homer, 50-double seasons are unheard of.

Major League Baseball players in the 40-40 club

Jose Canseco 42 homers, 40 doubles, 1988
Barry Bonds 42 home runs and 40 doubles in 1996
1998 Alex Rodriguez 42 home runs and 46 stolen bases
Alfonso Soriano 46 homers-41 doubles in 2006

Acuna Jr. played in 89 games in the first half of the year, hitting .990 with 21 homers, 41 doubles and an OPS of .313. Arithmetically, he was on pace for 38 homers and 75 steals if he played a full 162-game season.

After adding a stolen base in his first game after the All-Star break, Acuna Jr. hit his 22nd and 23rd home runs of the season on April 16 against the Chicago White Sox. He also added a stolen base.

Trailing 1-3 with one out in the third inning, he launched a game-tying two-run homer over the center field fence. Added a solo home run in the ninth inning to complete his multi-homer performance.

Against Arizona on April 19, he went 2-for-5 with a home run and a stolen base. Through 93 games through 19, Acuna Jr. has 23 homers and 44 doubles. He’s arithmetically capable of 40 homers and 77 doubles. If he doesn’t get injured by the end of the season, it’s not out of the question.

Acuna Jr. narrowly missed the 40-homer, 40-steal mark in 2019 when he hit 41 homers and 37 doubles.

Signed by Atlanta in 2015, Acuna Jr. made his major league debut in 2018 and won the National League Rookie of the Year award. In 111 games, Acuna Jr. batted .918 with 26 doubles, 64 homers, 78 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and a .918 OPS, edging out Juan Soto (then of Washington), who batted .923 with 22 doubles, 70 homers, 77 RBIs, five stolen bases and a .923 OPS in 116 games. 메이저놀이터

In 2019, Atlanta signed Acuna Jr. to a long-term deal early on. 10 years, $124 million. Acuna Jr. underwent surgery for an ACL injury before the 2021 All-Star break and was lost for the season.

He returned in late April of last year and played in 119 games, batting .266 with 15 doubles, 29 homers, and a .764 OPS, but didn’t show the same explosive power and speed. It was his first season back from injury, so it’s likely that he hasn’t fully regained his form.

This season, Acuna Jr. is on pace to become the first player in major league history to hit for extraordinary speed, power, and contact.

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