ATLANTA -- While there might still be some debate about who is baseball’s best player, Ronald Acuña Jr. has clearly established himself as the game’s most exciting player through the first couple weeks of this season.
Acuña created some early energy as he added to his impressive extra-base hits total and displayed his great speed while aggressively navigating his way around the bases as the Braves fell in a 5-3 loss to the Marlins in 10 innings at Truist Park.
After walking and stealing a base before touching the plate in the first inning, Acuña tripled and scored on Ozzie Albies’ fly ball to shallow center field in the third. Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm raced less than 20 feet into outfield grass behind second base to catch the pop fly that traveled 179 feet from home plate.
Recognizing Chisholm’s momentum was taking him toward center field, Acuña tagged and sprinted toward the plate, which he slid across headfirst well ahead of Chisholm's one-hop, off-target throw.
Per Statcast, Acuña’s sprint speed was 29 feet per second when he tripled and 29.9 feet per second when he dashed toward the plate.
Elite speed is 30 feet per second. Acuña was clocked at 31 feet per second when he recorded an infield single to begin Sunday night’s game against the Phillies.
Acuña has hit .447 with four homers and a 1.447 OPS through the first 10 games. Along with displaying incredible speed, he showed his tremendous power on Friday when he hit a 456-foot home run.
Acuña’s 10 extra-base hits are the second most by a Braves player through 10 games in franchise history (since 1901), trailing just 11 by Hank Aaron ('59) and Dale Murphy ('85). The franchise record for most extra-base hits before May is 22, set by Albies in 2018. Acuña is on pace for 26 extra-base hits this month.