Is Ronald Acuña Jr. poised to win NL MVP with the 2020 Atlanta Braves?
Ronald Acuña Jr. is a budding superstar for the Atlanta Braves, but is he ready to be NL MVP?
The Braves haven’t had a position player with this much potential since “The Jones Brothers”. Chipper Jones was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1990 MLB Amateur Draft out of high school. He finished second in NL Rookie of the Year in 1995, won a World Series and retired as a lifelong Brave in 2012. Jones was a first-ballot Baseball Hall of Fame inductee in 2018.
Andruw Jones was arguably the greatest defensive outfielder ever. He was a perennial Gold Glover in the Braves outfield for a decade, making several All-Star teams. However, once he left Atlanta, his skill set deteriorated and he became a total shell of himself. Jones has an outside shot of getting into Cooperstown, but there’s a reason the Braves haven’t retired his No. 25 jersey yet.
Acuña enters year three with the Braves, a team ready to finally make some noise in the postseason. He has surpassed first baseman, Freddie Freeman, as the team’s most talented everyday player. The ball explodes off his bat differently in the right-handed batter’s box. It’s a shortened 60-game season, but he’s definitely in the mix to win his first NL MVP award in 2020.
Will Ronald Acuña Jr. be a player capable of winning multiple MVP awards?
Could Acuña take home NL MVP in the weirdest baseball season of all time? He could, as he can be a perennial candidate for the Senior Circuit’s top honor for the next several years. However, Braves players don’t win multiple MVPs unless you’re named Dale Murphy. He’s the only two-time winner in franchise history, receiving the honors in 1981 and 1982.
In fact, there have only been two Braves to win NL MVP since 1990. Interestingly enough, they both manned the hot corner on either side of the 1990s. Terry Pendleton won NL MVP in 1991 when the Braves famously went worst-to-first. Chipper won his only NL MVP in his hall of fame career in 1999. That was also the last year Atlanta even made it to the World Series.
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The good news is when the Braves have made it to the World Series, their players have been awarded for it. Bobby Cox won NL Manager of the Year in 1991 and Tom Glavine took home the NL Cy Young. Greg Maddux won his fourth-straight NL Cy Young after 1995’s championship run. John Smoltz won his lone NL Cy Young in 1996. So if the Braves win big, Acuña can take home NL MVP.
Let’s take it one season at a time with Acuña before we say he’s winning multiple NL MVPs.