An incredible season from Ronald Acuña Jr. helped propel the Braves into the playoffs, and that playoff berth helped cement the young outfielder as the 2018 National League Rookie of the Year. Acuña finished ahead of Juan Soto of the Nationals by a wide margin, capturing 27 of 30 first-place votes.
When a player wins the Rookie of the Year award for either league at 20 years old, it often foretells success, and when put into context those seasons can be historic. The season just produced by Ronald Acuña Jr. was certainly historic in that it compares similarly to the age-20 seasons produced by some of the greatest players of all-time. Matt Powers breaks down just where Acuña fits into the discussion in this piece.
Our own Eric Cole dove into the slight differences between Ronald Acuña Jr. and Juan Soto that make both players so special, and that make Acuña the Rookie of the Year. These two could soon be the two best players in the National League if they follow the trajectory that was set out for them this past season.
The Braves surprised a lot of people this season with their division title run, including their general manager Alex Anthopoulos. The deals made last offseason were those of a GM who expected yet another losing season. But as the season progressed, Anthopoulos became more aggressive in improving the 2018 club in preparation for the playoffs. Those moves and more are all we have to gauge Anthopoulos on so far, and Scott Coleman takes a look at how well the GM has done in his first year with the Braves.
In the American League, two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani takes home the Rookie of the Year after impressive showings both on the mound and at the plate. His talent truly transcends modern-day baseball, and barring any major setbacks to his recovery from surgery, he should return to being a two-way player in 2020. Best of luck to Ohtani in those endeavors and congratulations on a well-deserved honor.