4 Reasons Ronald Acuña, Jr. is Set for a Groundbreaking 2024 Season

Ascending to the pinnacle of Major League Baseball, Ronald Acuña Jr. has solidified his position as a towering figure for the Braves, earning the coveted spot atop MLB Network’s “Top 100 Baseball Players for 2024” list. His monumental 2023 season, marked by 41 home runs and an electrifying 73 stolen bases for the Atlanta Braves, has set the stage for what experts and fans anticipate could be an even more groundbreaking 2024 campaign.

Today, let’s take a closer look at the potential factors that promise to catapult Acuña, Jr.’s performance to new heights in the upcoming 2024 season.

Acuña, Jr.’s 2023 season was marked by an exceptional batting performance that saw him unanimously win the National League Most Valuable Player Award. His record-breaking 40/70 season – hitting 40 home runs and stealing 70 bases – was a feat of historic proportions, putting him in the spotlight as one of the most remarkable players in the league.

Ronald Acuña, Jr. is Set for a Groundbreaking Season

Acuña was unlucky in 2023

However, a closer look at his performance reveals an intriguing twist. Despite the extraordinary numbers, Acuña Jr. had an unexpected shortfall in his wOBA (Weighted On-Base Average), a critical stat that measures a player’s overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. His actual wOBA was .428, but his expected wOBA, based on the quality of his contact, was .460. This 32-point gap suggests that he might have underperformed, defying the notion that his success was purely driven by good luck.

The Speed Factor: Base Stealing

Arguably the most impressive aspect of Acuña, Jr.’s performance was his base-stealing prowess. With 73 stolen bases, he led the sport. However, his success rate was only 84%, falling short of his competitors Corbin Carroll and CJ Abrams who both had a success rate of 92%. This suggests room for improvement in Acuña Jr.’s base-stealing strategy. Trading in a few bases taken for fewer outs given up could significantly enhance his value to the Braves.

The Deal: Current Contract Overview

As it stands, Acuña, Jr. is already five years into his contract with the Braves. Given the team’s policy of extending players early or letting them go in free agency, it seems unlikely that a new deal is on the table. However, considering Acuña, Jr.’s exceptional talent and potential, the Braves might want to reconsider their stance.

A recent comment from Acuña, Jr. about possible extension talks stirred up a debate about whether the Braves should offer him a new contract before the 2024 season. The idea is to secure his long-term services and ensure he remains a crucial player for the Braves for many years. The opportunity to renegotiate his contract could potentially motivate Acuña, Jr. to push his performance to even greater heights in 2024 and prove he is worth an Ohtani-level deal.

Braves Lineup: Expected Boost in 2024 plus Increased Competition in the NL

The Braves lineup is expected to improve significantly in 2024, which could play a crucial role in boosting Acuña Jr.’s performance. Acuña, Jr. will have more opportunities to score runs and contribute to the team’s success with a more potent lineup. This could result in even more impressive stats for the reigning MVP.

Finally, the increased competition in the league is likely to push Acuña, Jr. to elevate his game. As other players strive to outperform him, Acuña, Jr. will be motivated to stay ahead of the pack and maintain his status as one of the league’s top players. The bottom line is that Acuna needs to lead a better Braves team to defeat the Dodgers in 2024. This competitive spirit could drive him to achieve even greater success in the 2024 season.

Main Image: Mike Lang / USA TODAY NETWORK

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