Award Updates: Ronald Acuña Jr wins MLBPA Player’s Choice Awards for NL…

Ronald Acuña Jr wins MLBPA Player’s Choice Awards for NL Outstanding Player and Player of the Year.

Acuna in Braves' lineup 1 day after he was hit on shoulder |

Ronald Acuña Jr, as voted on by his peers, was the best player in all of baseball in 2023.

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr has won both the NL Outstanding Player Award and the Player of the Year, as announced in an award show on Thursday night.

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The awards, given out by the MLB Players Association per the votes of active players, are in recognition of his impressive offensive season of 2023. Achieving only the 5th 40/40 season in MLB history, Acuña obliterated the existing high-water mark of 46 stolen bases in a 40/40 season (Alex Rodriguez, 1998), stealing 73 bases.

Ronald batted .337 with 41 homers & 106 RBIs, all out of the leadoff spot. He led all of baseball in stolen bases, runs (149) and hits (217), while leading the National League in OPS (1.012).

To win the NL Outstanding Player, Acuña secured a higher vote total than Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts (who led the NL in WAR), Dodgers 1st baseman Freddie Freeman (who led all of baseball in doubles, with 59), and teammate Matt Olson, who led all of baseball in homers (54) and RBIs (139) and led the National League in slugging (.604).

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To win the MLB Player of the Year award, Acuña secured more votes from his peers than two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani (formerly of the Los Angeles Angels), who led all of baseball with a 10.0 WAR thanks to both his AL-leading 44 homers & MLB-leading .654 slugging and 1.066 OPS added in to his 10-5 record and 3.14 ERA across 23 starts before being shut down with an elbow injury.

Ohtani, a free agent this offseason, had Tommy John surgery on his right (throwing) elbow in late September and will be unable to pitch in the 2024 season, although he plans (as of now) to still hit for whichever team signs him as a free agent this offseason.

Acuña and Ohtani are the favorites to win their respective MVP awards, given out by the Baseball Writers Association of America, on November 16th. Acuña has already won the Sporting News MLB Player of the Year award, collecting 242 votes to Ohtani’s 44.

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