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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Can Ronald Acuña Jr. join 40-40 club after becoming second youngest to 30-30?

Major League Baseball won’t have the spotlight to itself for much longer. The NFL and college football seasons are upon us, meaning fans attention will be divided in the weeks and months ahead.

Some of the league’s brightest superstars did their part to keep that spotlight on Friday. That includes Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. In Friday’s thrilling 2-1, 14-inning win against the New York Mets, Acuña became the newest member of MLB’s 30-30.

Now his sights are set an even more exclusive club: 40-40.

That was just one notable moment in a night filled with milestones, comebacks and records that highlight how fun and unpredictable baseball can be.

A collection of assorted trivia- as for the question in the title, the answer seems obvious enough, especially given what his stolen base rate has been so far versus what it would need to be.


QLE Posted: August 24, 2019 at 03:44 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 40-40 club, aristides aquino, gary sanchez, marlins, ronald acuna

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   1. Lest we forget Posted: August 24, 2019 at 07:52 AM (#5874035)
Of course he can!

But will he ... ?
   2. PreservedFish Posted: August 24, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5874043)
I think I saw somewhere that he's been stealing like a madman lately.
   3. flournoy Posted: August 24, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5874056)
21 stolen bases in his last 52 games. He needs 10 more in the Braves' remaining 32 games.
   4. Bote Man Posted: August 24, 2019 at 10:43 AM (#5874058)
Acuña is good. Really good. Bryce Harper looks on wistfully from a distance.

40 home runs is entirely doable in this juiced ball environment (for which Rawlings has yet to be suspended, FYI). I'm not impressed by any of the home run and power numbers being put up this season. When little fleebs like Tony Kemp are hitting ANY home runs (which half the time are just lazy fly balls that happen to sail out of the park these days) I can't get excited about such things.

40 stolen bases is the tough one. It's too late at night Down Under for Walt Davis to grace us with an analysis of comps, but those are much less dependent on the composition of the baseball and the bases are still 90 feet apart through the decades. I guess the abilities of pitchers and catchers are roughly the same over the years, although modern nutrition, training, and environmental conditions give an edge to current-era players. So the stolen base number is the interesting one to me.

Acuña has been caught stealing 8 times, which leads the League per B-Ref. It's really important to list both SB and CS numbers to get a feel for how good a player is, but most broadcasts leave off the CS number. But if a guy has 10 SB and 9 CS he should really just glue his foot to 1B.
   5. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 24, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5874062)
The Fangraphs projection systems have him going 43-36. I think he can find 4 extra steals if he is determined to.

Dan S. wrote this up like 10 days ago here.
   6. JJ1986 Posted: August 24, 2019 at 01:11 PM (#5874085)
He can probably get 8 more SBs this weekend.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: August 24, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5874139)
Comps for Acuna? Jesus?

The guys who put up 30-30 before age 25 is a pretty impressive list:

Trout, Acuna, ARod, Canseco, Bobby Bonds, Sosa, Hanley ... and David Wright. (There's your sporcle stumper.)

At 25 is pretty solid too:

Straw, EDavis, Jose Ramirez, Ron Gant, Mookie B, Sizemore, Preston Wilson (they can't all be gems), Shawn Green, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds

So Mr. Acuna finds himself in very fine company. The quality of the players who have ever pulled off 30-30 declines as you look at older ages but it's still an incredibly solid list. Injuries aside (Sizemore, Ellsbury), the worst player by far seems to be Wilson (6 WAR) then it's guys like Joe Carter, Mondesi, HoJo. Tommy Harper came out of nowhere to do it but he still had a 26 WAR career.

The oldest seasons are at 32: Barry and Bobby, Ken Williams, Larkin, Bichette. Williams was the first player in 1922 and the next was Mays in 1956. Barry and Bobby lead the way with 5 times, Soriano 4, Sosa and HoJo 3.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: August 24, 2019 at 07:43 PM (#5874166)
LATE EDIT: Bichette is the other not very good player to have done it, slightly less career WAR than Wilson.

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