Ozzie Albies makes Braves history with 30 homers, 100 RBIs as second baseman

PHOENIX – Ozzie Albies already is one of the best power-hitting second basemen in MLB history.

Albies slugged his 30th home run in the Braves’ 9-2 win against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. He also reached the 100-RBI mark with his blast, giving him his first 30-homer, 100-RBI campaign.

The switch-hitter is the third Braves second baseman to hit 30 home runs in a season, joining Davey Johnson (43 in 1973) and Dan Uggla (36 in 2011). He’s the first primary middle infielder in franchise history to post a 100-RBI season. His 90 career homers already are the franchise record for second basemen.

“I got a hug from (first baseman) Freddie (Freeman) saying, ‘Hey, that’s special,’” Albies said. “So now I know how it feels, and it feels great.”

At 24 years and 258 days old, Albies became the youngest second baseman in MLB history to record a 30-homer, 100-RBI season. He’s the fourth second baseman with a 30-homer, 100-RBI season since 2010, joining Uggla (2010), Robinson Cano (2016) and Jonathan Scoop (2017).

“What an accomplishment,” manager Brian Snitker said of Albies’ season. “In the storied history of the Atlanta Braves, to be the first guy to do that is pretty cool. That’s really neat. He’s just a little fella, you know? I’m happy for Oz. ... Ozzie is that boring pro, just the same thing every day. I never see that guy have a bad day. His attitude, it’s off the charts. It’s unbelievable. He’s such a cool young man.”

The Braves’ infield as a whole is historically potent. Freeman, Albies and third baseman Austin Riley has each reached 30 homers. Shortstop Dansby Swanson has 26 blasts, putting the Braves within striking distance of becoming the first infield in MLB history in which each starting member hit 30 home runs.

Albies said the infield is “no doubt” the best in MLB. Statistically, it’s hard to argue. The starting infield is averaging 29.5 homers and 89.8 RBIs. It features the reigning National League MVP (Freeman), a two-time All-Star (Albies), an MVP candidate (Riley) and a shortstop in Swanson who plays Gold Glove-worthy defense and has posted overall stellar power production for his position.

“I don’t see how anybody else can compete with it,” said starter Ian Anderson, agreeing that the Braves’ infield is baseball’s best. “The defense speaks for itself, coming from the pitching side of things. Obviously to hit for the power they have, to drive in runs and get on base as they have, it’s been awesome to watch.”