With a first-inning steal against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night (GameTracker), Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. became the first player in Major League Baseball history to clear an impressive two offensive thresholds before Aug. 1. To be specific, Acuña is the first to ever notch 20 or more home runs and 50 or more stolen bases before the end of July.
Acuña, 25, entered Saturday night hitting .329/.412/.569 (158 OPS+) with 23 home runs and 49 stolen bases (on 57 attempts). He had appeared in all 101 of the Braves contests. Prorated over 150 games -- and bear in mind, this is a basic approach toward forecasting that ignores regression to the mean -- Acuña was on pace to finish the season with 34 home runs and 79 stolen bases.
For those wondering, the most home runs ever launched in a season by a player who also stole 50-plus bases was 37. That mark was established by Cincinnati Reds outfielder Eric Davis in 1987. Once Acuña reaches the 25-homer mark, and that could occur over the coming days, he'll notch just the 12th 25-50 campaign in MLB history. Here's a look at the full group:
In addition to the above achievements, Acuña will be attempting to become the first player to clear a 40-40 season since Alfonso Soriano did it in 2006. Acuña, of course, came close back in 2019, finishing just three stolen bases shy.