For Ronald Acuña Jr., the frontrunner for the National League MVP, the most important part of the season is yet to come. And though Acuña Jr. has put up impressive numbers so far, the Braves right fielder would likely trade them all for the possibility of helping his team in the postseason.
Acuña Jr., however, got off to a great start in that regard by delivering the clutch hit against the Pittsburgh Pirates that made the Atlanta Braves the first team confirmed to participate in this year’s playoffs.
Counting 2023, the Atlanta Braves have reached the postseason six straight years – every year since Ronald Acuña Jr., who debuted in 2018 and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, has been with the team. The Braves even won the World Series, the ultimate prize, in 2021. Back then, however, Acuña Jr., though he was part of the team, had to sit out the back half of the season and the postseason with an injury.
This season, he is healthy and ready to make a difference in the playoffs.
Acuña Jr., who came to the plate in the seventh inning with his team down a run and delivered the go-ahead hit as the crowds chanted “MVP! MVP!” later said in an interview that it gives him goosebumps to hear the chants.
With the season Acuña Jr. has had, this is likely not the last time he’ll hear those chants. The Atlanta Braves, and their fans, hope he gets to hear them – and deliver like he has been – starting October, when the playoffs start and the Braves go for a second World Series title in three years.