Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. became the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to record at least 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a single season Friday, when he launched his 40th home run against the Nationals to lead off the game. Additionally, he became the first player in American/National League history to record at least 40 home runs and 60 stolen bases, according to CBS Sports HQ’s research team.
Here’s a look at the historic home run in all its moving picture glory:
Acuña, 25, entered Friday’s contest batting .335/.414/.592 (167 OPS+) with 39 home runs, 100 RBI, and 68 stolen bases (on 81 attempts). His contributions have been worth an estimated 7.8 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference’s calculations.
Acuña’s 40/40 season joins those previously notched by Alfonso Soriano (2006), Alex Rodriguez (1998), Barry Bonds (1996), and Jose Canseco (1988). The Braves slugger previously flirted with a 40/40 season back in 2019. He finished that campaign with 41 home runs and 37 stolen bases, giving him the closest near-miss season since Matt Kemp fell a home run short of 40-40 in 2011.
It’s to be seen how voters value Acuña’s historic accomplishments in the upcoming NL Most Valuable Player Award balloting. He’s considered to be one of the favorites to win the hardware, with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts serving as his top competition. (Betts’ next home run, by the way, will also be his 40th of the season.) Of the four previous 40-40 seasons, only one (Canseco’s) resulted in an MVP award. Bonds finished fifth, Soriano finished sixth, and Rodriguez finished ninth in balloting, suggesting Acuña is not necessarily a shoo-in to win.