Braves’ Acuna Wins NL Rookie of the Year


 Down the stretch of the major league baseball season, two young stars were making their marks on the game.  Ronald Acuna (20 yrs old) for the Atlanta Braves and Juan Soto (19 yrs old) for the Washington Nationals were both constantly making headline news.  Every time you looked at comments on twitter of a post about either player, all you seen was “Acuna better” or “Soto better.”  Well, after the National League Rookie of the Year votes came out on Tuesday, it looks as if the baseball writers said, “Acuna better.”  This is not to take anything away from Soto, even though I despise the Nationals and could very easily decide to do that, but Ronald Acuna deserved the honor.  Both will become perennial all-stars and be household names for years, but let’s take a look at this season’s numbers.

             2018 Stats

                     Acuna               Soto

          GP         111                     116

          AB        487                   494

          AVG     .293                   .292

          H          127                      121

          2B         26                      25

          3B         4                         1

          HR        26                       22

          R          78                        77

          RBI       64                       70

          OBP     .366                    .406

          SLG      .552                    .517

          SB         16                        5

A lot of these numbers are nearly identical, but Acuna does hold the clear edge.  While Soto played in five more games and collected seven more at-bats, Acuna had the higher batting average, more hits, more doubles, triples, home runs, runs scored, higher slugging percentage, and more stolen bases.  Soto was much better in not striking out and taking more walks, which led to him having a higher on-base percentage.  He also held the edge in RBI with six more than Acuna.  Both VERY good sets of numbers, especially given that these guys were 19 and 20 years old this season.  But the edge here has to go to Acuna, especially once you factor in the crucial part he played for this Braves team in helping clinch the NL East and making the playoffs.  Ever since he was moved to the leadoff spot down the stretch of the season, he lit a fire under this Braves team to propel them to accomplish things they weren’t expected to do until possibly the 2019 season.  With the Nationals missing out on the playoffs, that just made this decision that much easier for the baseball writers.  Now, here’s to hoping the Braves and Acuna can keep growing and accomplish even bigger and better things in the future.