Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. etched his name into MLB history Friday night when he hit his 40th home run of the season and became the fifth member to join the Atlanta Braves’ exclusive 40-40 club. baseball.
With his first inning against Washington Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin, Acuña becomes only the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to join the elite 40-40 club – players who have hit 40 home runs and stolen 40 goals in a single season.
Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco was the first player to display the rare combination of speed and power, when he hit 42 home runs and stole 40 bases in 1988. Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants matched the Canseco’s stat line in 1996 with 42 home runs and 40 steals. In 1998, Alex Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners hit 42 home runs and 46 stolen bases. Alfonso Soriano was the last player to achieve this feat when he hit 46 home runs and stole 41 bases for the Washington Nationals in 2006.
No other member of the 40-40 Club has managed to match the base-stealing prowess the 25-year-old Venezuelan has demonstrated in 2023. As of Friday, Acuña has stolen a whopping 68 bases this season, which leads the big leagues.
The 2018 National League Rookie of the Year and four-time All-Star makes a strong case to win his first Most Valuable Player award this year. Acuña boasts a .338 batting average and 101 RBIs to go along with his impressive home run and stolen base totals.
Acuña’s Braves have the best record in baseball at 98-55 and the playoffs are scheduled to begin October 3.