Ronald Acuna Jr. kept the Braves' National League Division Series hopes alive Sunday when he knocked a second-inning grand slam off Dodgers phenom Walker Buehler that gave Atlanta a 5-0 lead in Game 3, an eventual 6-5 Braves win. He also made history, becoming the youngest player to knock a
Ronald Acuna Jr. kept the Braves' National League Division Series hopes alive Sunday when he knocked a second-inning grand slam off Dodgers phenom Walker Buehler that gave Atlanta a 5-0 lead in Game 3, an eventual 6-5 Braves win. He also made history, becoming the youngest player to knock a grand slam in a postseason game at 20 years and 293 days of age.
Acuna's big blast made him one of the 10 youngest players to hit a homer of any kind in postseason play. Here's the company the Braves' sensational rookie now joins:
1. Andruw Jones
Homers: 1996 NLCS Game 7 (19 years, 177 days), 1996 World Series Game 1 (two; 19 years, 180 days), 1998 NLCS Game 1 (21 years, 167 days)
The supremely talented Jones earned several distinctions during his first foray into October, becoming the youngest to homer in both the postseason and in the World Series. Jones' first dinger came as part of a Braves barrage in Game 7 of the NLCS as they completed a comeback from down three games to one against St. Louis.
Jones stayed hot three nights later, homering twice off Andy Pettite and Brian Boehringer to make Fall Classic history in the Braves' 12-1 rout of the Yankees in Game 1.
2. Bryce Harper
Homers: 2012 NLDS Game 5 (19 years, 362 days)
Fresh off winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award, the highly regarded Harper tripled in the Nationals' first run off Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright in the first inning of the decisive Game 5, and then sent the home crowd into a frenzy with a solo blast to lead off the third.
Unfortunately, Harper's big day was overshadowed by Washington's collapse as the Nationals blew a 6-0 lead and saw their season end with a 9-7 St. Louis victory.
3. Manny Machado
Homers: 2012 ALDS Game 3 (20 years, 96 days)
Machado's fifth-inning tater off Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda came in a big moment, giving the Orioles a 2-1 lead midway through the swing contest of the series with the teams tied at one game apiece. But like Harper, Machado was overshadowed by Yankees veteran Raul Ibanez, who hit two homers -- including a 12th-inning walk-off shot -- that gave New York momentum in its eventual five-game triumph.
4. Jose Cabrera
Homers: 2003 NLCS Game 1 (20 years, 172 days), 2003 NLCS Game 2 (20 years, 173 days), 2003 NLCS Game 7 (20 years, 180 days), 2003 World Series Game 4 (20 years, 187 days)
It's hard to imagine the Marlins making their storybook run in the fall of 2003 without a breakout from Cabrera, who showed the first glimpses of the immense hitting talent that would define his Hall of Fame-caliber career. Cabrera's homer yielders included aces Carlos Zambrano, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood in Florida's topsy-turvy NLCS triumph, but his most impressive homer came in the World Series. After Roger Clemens threw a heater up and in to Cabrera in Game 4, the 20-year-old kept grinding and took the Yankees' ace deep on the seventh pitch of the at-bat. The Marlins gutted out a 12-inning victory that night and went on to shock the Yankees in six games.
5. Mickey Mantle
Homers: 1952 World Series Game 6 (20 years, 252 days), 1952 World Series Game 7 (20 years, 253 days)
Mantle hit 18 postseason home runs in his Hall of Fame career. The first two came as a fresh-faced 20-year-old in the 1952 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers and helped deliver the Yankees their 15th title. Mantle went deep in the eighth inning for a solo homer that ended up being the deciding run in Game 6, then hit a go-ahead blast in the sixth inning of New York's title-clinching Game 7 victory.
6. Ronald Acuna Jr.
Homers: 2018 NLDS Game 3 (20 years, 293 days)
Acuna became the youngest player to hit a grand slam in a postseason game, punctuating the Braves' five-run second inning with a towering shot against Buehler at SunTrust Park. It marked the first Braves grand slam in the playoffs since Adam LaRoche in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS and the first of Acuna's career.
7. Rafael Devers
Homers: 2017 ALDS Game 3 (20 years, 349 days), 2017 ALDS Game 4 (20 years, 350 days)
As a rookie in 2017, Devers went deep twice for the Red Sox in the ALDS against the eventual-champion Astros. His first long ball was a two-run, go-ahead shot off Francisco Liriano in Game 3 that helped Boston avoid elimination and force a Game 4. Devers homered again in that contest, knocking an inside-the-parker in the ninth inning that pulled Boston to within one run. It was the 17th inside-the-park home run in postseason history and first since Alcides Escobar's in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.
8. Carlos Correa
Homers: 2015 ALDS Game 4 (two; 21 years, 20 days)
Correa became the youngest player in AL history with a multihomer playoff game (behind only Jones for youngest overall) when he went deep twice for Houston in a losing effort in Game 4 of the 2015 ALDS. Correa, the AL's Rookie of the Year that season, homered off Royals starter Yordano Ventura in the second, then repeated the feat in the third.
9. Chris Speier
Homers: 1971 NLCS Game 4 (21 years, 100 days)
Speier held the record for more than 20 years before Jones supplanted him. In 1972, his first of three consecutive All-Star campaigns for the Giants, Speier homered in San Francisco's Game 4 defeat to the Pirates in the NLCS. He went deep on the first pitch he saw to lead off the second inning against Pittsburgh starter Steve Blass.
10. Jimmy Sebring
Homers: 1903 World Series Game 1 (21 years, 190 days)
We're going all the way back to the very first World Series game for Sebring, a heralded prospect who garnered comparisons to the great Honus Wagner upon entering the NL. He was bedridden with illness early in the 1903 season but came back to hit seventh for Pittsburgh in the Series opener, knocking an inside-the-park homer off the great Cy Young in the top of the seventh to extend the Pirates' lead to 7-0. Sebring hit .333 for the Series, but Boston prevailed in eight games.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.