Watch Ronald Acuña Jr. pickpocket a base with Dodgers asleep at the wheel

Ronald Acuña Jr.’s MVP case was propelled even further by an absolutely wild stolen base on Monday night that caught the Dodgers snoozing.

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. is quickly cementing himself as one of the most important players to watch in 2023. The outfielder is impressive offensively — he has the second-highest OPS in the majors to Aaron Judge, and the highest in the National League — has the second-strongest arm in the outfield according to Statcast, and is second in stolen bases.

Those numbers are great and paint a clear picture of how good he is. He’s excelling at a league-high level across multiple important dimensions. But actually watching this guy play is something entirely different.

He gave us a reminder of that on Monday night against the Dodgers when he stole third base following a walk that forced him to second.

Ronald Acuña Jr. completely embarasses the Dodgers with first-to-third sequence on walk

A walk is bad enough, but how about giving a player an additional base than the free one earned in such a scenario? That’s what the Dodgers did for Acuña.

Check it out, he takes his base at second, and noticing that the Dodgers aren’t exactly locked in, goes ahead and pickpockets third base as well.

There’s a good amount of deception required here, as there is with any good pick-pocket. Acuña acts like he’s taking second routinely, but bursts out of the gate when the infielders’ backs are to him. By the time they realize what has happened, there’s no play to be made.

Acuña is one of the faster players on the bases when it matters most. Of players with 75 competitive runs or more, he has the fastest spring speed in feet per second (29.7, which is equivalent to 20.25 miles per hour), according to Statcast.

Yet another slide in the highlight reel for Acuña’s MVP case of 2023.

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