5 things Braves: Ronald Acuna beginning season on a tear

Credit: Atlanta Braves

Braves manager Brian Snitker comments on young outfielder’s start to 2021 season.

Credit: Atlanta Braves

It was overshadowed by the now-infamous ninth-inning replay call, but Ronald Acuna had another stand-out performance Sunday in the Braves’ 7-6 loss to the Phillies. The All-Star outfielder went 3-for-4 with a homer. It was his third consecutive multi-hit game.

Acuna hit .692/.643/2.027 with three doubles and two homers in the three-game series, in which the Braves won two of three. Acuna now leads the National League in five categories:

  • Batting average: .444
  • Slugging percentage: .917
  • Hits: 16
  • Extra-base hits: 9
  • Total bases: 33

He’s second in the league in doubles (tied, five) and third in homers (tied, four).

“The guy is absolutely amazing,” said starter Drew Smyly, who made his second start with the Braves on Sunday. “I caught a glimpse of it in ‘19 when I was with the Phillies. I saw it in spring and through the first couple weeks of the season. He’s a generational talent. It’s exciting to get to watch him every game. He’s one of a kind. It’s really impressive.”

It’s early — the Braves have only played nine games — but if Acuna continues at his current trajectory, it won’t be crazy to suggest the Braves could have back-to-back National League MVPs. He’ll get the chance to build on his hot start against one of his favorite opponents, the Marlins, for a four-game series that begins Monday at Truist Park.