Ronald Acuna entered the 2018 Major League Baseball season as baseball’s No. 2 overall prospect behind Angles’ two-way star Shohei Ohtani and he did not disappoint. Ronald Acuna was selected Monday night as the National League Rookie of the Year Award winner and rightfully so.
Acuna’s Big League debut was delayed as the Braves played the beginning of the season without the rising star in order to gain another year of control over Acuna. Acuna finally debuted on April 25 and was a stud for the rest of the season, hitting .293/.366/.552 with 26 home runs, 64 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 487 plate appearances.
“What has impressed me the most about Ronald is his ability to learn,” outfielder and teammate Ender Inciarte said. “He’s shown he can mature and learn with the league, and he’s made the needed adjustments quickly.”
Acuna received 27 of the 30 possible first-place votes. Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals received just two first-place votes with Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler (who finished in third place) getting the last first-place vote. The likes of Brian Anderson of the Miami Marlins (4), Jack Flaherty (2) and Harrison Bader of the St. Louis Cardinals (1), Yoshihisa Hirano of the Arizona Diamondbacks (1), and Jeff McNeil of the New York Mets (1) each received votes but had no serious chance of winning.
Acuna became the first Atlanta Brave to win the Rookie of the Year Award since Craig Kimbrel took home the honor after his 2011 campaign. Acuna is also the eight Brave to ever take home the honor. There certainly is a bright future ahead of the young rising superstar.