Ronald Acuña Jr. is carrying the Braves at a pace that is almost impossible to believe.
The Atlanta Braves are not off to an ideal start in 2021. The team enters Friday with a 5-8 record and stars all over the roster have not lived up to expectations so far. Well, all but one.
Ronald Acuña Jr. is tearing the cover off the ball on a nightly basis. He already has seven home runs, 14 RBIs, and a whopping 1.492 OPS in the 13 games. If not for Acuña, the Braves offense would be a true disaster.
Ronald Acuña is doing better than his entire team
This means Acuña alone is outperforming his entire team, which includes himself. WAR totals early in a season can fluctuate and are not going to determine a player’s course for the season. But Braves fans have to be frustrated seeing the likes of Marcell Ozuna, Cristian Pache, Austin Riley, and Ozzie Albies all show up with negative totals so far this season.
Pablo Sandoval is behind Acuña with an fWAR of 0.4 and Freddie Freeman is next at 0.1.
This pace is not going to be sustainable at all for an entire season. And not only that, but the rest of the team’s key contributors have to step up if the Braves are going to make a World Series push this season.
The crazy thing here is that Acuña is still only 23 years old. He only has one true full season at the MLB level and looks set to make his second career All-Star Game this year. Could he set new records at the plate in 2021? That is entirely possible, but the current direction of the team could mean he ends up mirroring Mike Trout by having a great year without an invitation to October.