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Friday, September 20, 2019

Acuña becomes third player to hit 40 homers at 21 or younger

ATLANTA – Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves has become only the third player in baseball history to hit 40 homers while 21 years old or younger.

The other two were Eddie Mathews and Mel Ott, who are both in the Hall of Fame.

The 21-year-old Acuña launched a two-run shot Thursday in the third inning, a towering 432-foot drive into the second level at SunTrust Park off Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola.

So, does this mean he’ll hit 513 home runs?

QLE Posted: September 20, 2019 at 12:16 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: eddie mathews, home runs, mel ott, ronald acuna

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   1. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 20, 2019 at 06:57 AM (#5881126)
3 more steals for 40-40. I assume he is running every time he is on base until he achieves this.
   2. bunyon Posted: September 20, 2019 at 08:03 AM (#5881128)
I assume that as well. Which should make it harder, not easier.

I'm very pleased by the 2019 Braves.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:24 AM (#5881138)
Mathews led the league with 47.
Ott was 2nd with 42.

Acuna is tied for 5th with 40.
   4. wjones Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5881139)
I think his steal success rate is at 80%. That might take a hit.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5881143)
None of these home run records impress me. It's like hitting .400 in 1894.
   6. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5881144)
Soto looks like he'll fall short this year (34), but he's got another year to join the club.
   7. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:56 AM (#5881145)
4 WAR at 20 (111 games)
5 WAR at 21 (153 and counting)

not bad.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2019 at 10:13 AM (#5881150)
Albies, amazingly, is only .013 SLG points behind Acuna. 42 doubles, 8 triples, 23 homeruns. He's also 0.4 WAR behind him. Almost exactly 1 year older.
   9. caspian88 Posted: September 20, 2019 at 10:23 AM (#5881158)
The Braves have clinched a playoff spot, have a magic number of 1 for the division, and probably aren't passing the Dodgers for the best record in the NL. As long as he avoids injury, there isn't really any reason for Acuna not to try and steal three more times, even at the cost of blowing his success rate, unless he cares about his WAR.
   10. bfan Posted: September 20, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5881186)
As long as he avoids injury, there isn't really any reason for Acuna not to try and steal three more times,


Well yes, but there is the rub. They shouldn't be playing anyone with a chance to advance the rest of the season (I would be shocked if the mets are not mathematically eliminated by the last series of the season), maybe some team will start some guy who cannot hold runners, and he can get all 3 in one day (assuming he doesn't just hit a homer in every plate appearance).
   11. Brian Posted: September 20, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5881187)
As long as he avoids injury, there isn't really any reason for Acuna not to try and steal three more times,


The first part of that sentence would seem to render the second part useless. There is inherent danger in running full speed and throwing your body at an object hammered into the ground. Getting hurt and missing the playoffs because you were chasing some artificial goal would be a disaster.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 20, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5881188)
None of these home run records impress me. It's like hitting .400 in 1894.

Concur.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5881190)
The first part of that sentence would seem to render the second part useless.


You're saying you'd give him the red light? #### that, let the kid run and get his cool stats.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 20, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5881201)
None of these home run records impress me. It's like hitting .400 in 1894.
Fair point, but but I just take it as another "fun fact" confirmation that Acuna is really good and really young, and has a very bright future. That's exciting and good for baseball.
   15. bunyon Posted: September 20, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5881209)
Yeah, 30-30 with his WAR and glove at 21 is really impressive. Is it as legit a 40-40 as someone doing it in a year with fewer HR? Sure.

Well yes, but there is the rub. They shouldn't be playing anyone with a chance to advance the rest of the season (I would be shocked if the mets are not mathematically eliminated by the last series of the season), maybe some team will start some guy who cannot hold runners, and he can get all 3 in one day (assuming he doesn't just hit a homer in every plate appearance).

He really needs to walk, steal second, steal third and steal home with the division clinching run and then go sit down until Game 1.
   16. bbmck Posted: September 20, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5881213)
Regular season HR before 22nd birthday since 1908 and career total:

86 - Mel Ott 511
84 - Tony Conigliaro 166
72 - Eddie Mathews 512
66 - Ronald Acuna Jr turns 22 during off-season
60 - Frank Robinson 586
60 - Ken Griffey Jr 630

Before 21st birthday (before 20th, same Top 5, different order):

61 (19) - Mel Ott 511
56 (24) - Tony Conigliaro 166
56 (22) - Juan Soto turns 21 during playoffs
42 (22) - Bryce Harper 216, turns 27 during playoffs
38 (16) - Ken Griffey Jr 630

To stay in Top 5 before 23rd to 27th birthday:

95 - Alex Rodriguez
130 - Mike Trout & Frank Robinson
172 - Ken Griffey Jr & Alex Rodriguez
207 - Mickey Mantle
249 - Mickey Mantle
   17. rconn23 Posted: September 20, 2019 at 01:41 PM (#5881216)
Big deal. Ichiro could hit 80 HRs every year if he wanted to.
   18. JAHV Posted: September 20, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5881237)
Acuna is a fantastic player, and it stinks that I'm so jaded by all the home runs that my first reaction at this is to shrug and dismiss it. A 40-40 will be cool, but I can't help but give the home run total the Coors Field discount.

All that said, the Braves are a really fun team on the position player side and I hope they have some success in the postseason.
   19. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 20, 2019 at 02:43 PM (#5881244)
Acuna is a fantastic player, and it stinks that I'm so jaded by all the home runs that my first reaction at this is to shrug and dismiss it. A 40-40 will be cool, but I can't help but give the home run total the Coors Field discount.


If you're doing that on the one side for HRs, you really ought to do the reverse on the flip side for SBs. How many of the 40/40 guys were leading their league and second in the majors in steals?
   20. flournoy Posted: September 20, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5881248)
How many of the 40/40 guys were leading their league and second in the majors in steals?


To answer the possibly rhetorical question, they were 4th, 4th, 4th, and 6th in their respective leagues. (Soriano as the 6th)

Acuna's 2019 currently ranks 17th all-time among single-season Power/Speed Numbers.
   21. bbmck Posted: September 20, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5881255)
Minimum 20 SB attempts

1988 Jose Canseco leads MLB by 3 HR, AL by 8; T12th in SB, 53 behind Rickey!, 6 behind 5th; T50th of 79 in SB%
1996 Barry Bonds T9th in HR, T2nd in NL; 8th in SB, 13 behind NL leader; 4th of 76 in SB%
1998 Alex Rodriguez 12th in HR, 7th in AL; 6th in SB, 20 behind Rickey!; 23rd of 74 in SB%
2006 Alfonso Soriano 4th in HR, 3rd in NL; 10th in SB, 6th in NL; 39th of 48 in SB%
2019 Ronald Acuna Jr T7th in HR, T5th in NL; 3rd in SB, 1st in NL; 17th of 31 in SB%
   22. jmurph Posted: September 20, 2019 at 03:19 PM (#5881259)
1988 Jose Canseco leads MLB by 3 HR, AL by 8; T12th in SB, 53 behind Rickey!, 6 behind 5th; T50th of 79 in SB%
1996 Barry Bonds T9th in HR, T2nd in NL; 8th in SB, 13 behind NL leader; 4th of 76 in SB%
1998 Alex Rodriguez 12th in HR, 7th in AL; 6th in SB, 20 behind Rickey!; 23rd of 74 in SB%
2006 Alfonso Soriano 4th in HR, 3rd in NL; 10th in SB, 6th in NL; 39th of 48 in SB%
2019 Ronald Acuna Jr T7th in HR, T5th in NL; 3rd in SB, 1st in NL; 17th of 31 in SB%

Amazing.
   23. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 20, 2019 at 03:36 PM (#5881269)
To answer the possibly rhetorical question, they were 4th, 4th, 4th, and 6th in their respective leagues. (Soriano as the 6th)


Not rhetorical at all! Many thanks to you and bbmck, very interesting food for thought.
   24. JAHV Posted: September 20, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5881282)
If you're doing that on the one side for HRs, you really ought to do the reverse on the flip side for SBs. How many of the 40/40 guys were leading their league and second in the majors in steals?


I don't know, I don't find leading the league with 40 SBs as being all that impressive either. Stolen base totals being down aren't because it's objectively harder to steal a base. Stolen base totals are down precisely because it's so easy to hit a home run in today's game that GMs and managers have greatly restricted the number of attempts. A guy who can steal 40 bases is still fantastic, and I love Acuna as a player. But I can't help but think that if not for all the lousy home runs, we'd have seen a guy go 25/60 (Rickey Henderson twice, Joe Morgan twice, and Eric Davis) or 30/55 (never done - Bonds and Davis did 30/50) and that would have been even more impressive to me.

I know that this is in large part due to my preference for a speedier brand of baseball, but I don't think that invalidates the point that any accomplishment involving home runs this season feels like it was done with a cheat code.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: September 20, 2019 at 05:31 PM (#5881325)
Let's not downplay this too much. Without the ball he'd have, what, somewhere around 35. Stanton 34, Miggy 33, ARod 36, Pujols 37 -- he's still in mighty fine company.

We can ding him a bit -- he leads this group in PA and 2nd in AB (Trosky). Not that those gaps are very big. Bellinger is the standout here with 39 in just 548 PA. By rate, that's just ahead of Mathews.

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