With a .335 OBP and a 40-80 club as his goal, Acuña Jr. is exactly what MLB wants him to be.

This season, Major League Baseball made significant rule changes, including the introduction of a pitch clock. Pitchers were limited in the number of runners they could throw and the number of defensive shifts they could make, and the size of each base was increased.

The intent of the rule changes was clear. They were concerned that the inflammation of “home run or strikeout” baseball was leading to a decline in the league’s popularity.

Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. (26) is everything Major League Baseball officials hoped he would be. He plays more dynamic baseball than anyone else. He hits home runs like nobody’s business, and he’s constantly running.

He has 29 home runs and 61 doubles heading into the game against Colorado on July 30. He’s on pace for 36 homers and 75 steals on the season. He’s always been a speedy player, with 37 steals in 2019, but he’s been running a lot more this year. He’s taking full advantage of the rule change.

Acuña needs one more home run to join the all-time 30 (home runs)-60 (steals) club. Only three players have ever hit 20-60, including Rickey Henderson, who did it six times.

Depending on how Acuña plays the rest of the season, 30-60 isn’t the only possible combination, but 40-50, 50-30, and more are possible. 40-80 is not out of the question. The most stolen bases by a 40+ home run hitter is 42 home runs and 46 stolen bases by Alex Rodriguez (Seattle) in 1998.

In addition to his home runs and stolen bases, his .335 on-base percentage also stands out. Acuña’s bat, which hadn’t cracked the triple digits since his big league debut in 2018, has become incredibly refined. With Miami’s Luis Arajes’ batting average dropping to .350 after once hitting over 4%, it’s time for a batting title challenge.스포츠토토

Acuña is in the National League MVP race with Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers), who is batting .312 with a 1.012 OPS, 35 home runs and 10 doubles. Betts still has the edge in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), which takes into account offensive production and defense, but if Acuña can produce a 30-60+ home run and stolen base combination, it will be significant. It would also be symbolic to see Acuña win MVP honors in the first year of Major League Baseball’s rule changes in favor of the new game.

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