Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna was named the 2018 National League Rookie of the Year on Monday night. He prevailed in the voting over fellow award finalists Juan Soto of the Nationals and Walker Buehler of the Dodgers.
Acuna in his age-20 season played in 111 games (owing to injury and a belated call-up), and over that span he batted .293/.366/.552 (144 OPS+) with 26 home runs and 26 doubles in 487 plate appearances. As well, Acuna graded out as defensive asset and stole 16 bases in 21 attempts while taking the extra base an impressive 54 percent of the time. Ultimately, it's that broad-based value that set him apart from the rest of the field.
Add up said broad-based value, and here's how he compares to his fellow finalists in terms of Wins Above Replacement (WAR):
Acuna entered the 2018 season as the consensus top prospect in all of baseball, and if anything he exceeded expectations. His package of elite power, speed in tandem with that standout rookie effort mean he could be ready for superstardom and MVP candidacy very soon. It's no exaggeration to say that Acuna will go into the 2019 season squarely in the discussion for best player in the National League.
Acuna becomes the first Brave to win Rookie of the Year honors since Craig Kimbrel in 2011. He's also the first Venezuela native to win the award since Ozzie Guillen won the AL Rookie of the Year in 1985.
Angels' two-way phenom MLB awards to be handed out this week. Keep up with all the hardware .. The Rookie of the Year trophies were the first of the major
As a reminder, voting for all major awards takes places after the regular season and before the postseason. These are regular season awards only. The full 2018 AL Rookie of the Year voting results can be seen at the BBWAA's site.