With his 39th home run and 35th and 36th stolen bases on Thursday night against the Phillies, Ronald Acuña put a historic bow on his season by becoming the youngest player to accomplish a 35-35 season in baseball history. While Acuña bashing dingers and swiping bases has come to feel routine this year, the 21-year-old Venezuelan’s eye-popping stats are anything but normal.
Acuña got started early in Philadelphia on Thursday, getting on base from the lead-off spot on an error by first baseman Rhys Hoskins, before subsequently stealing both second and third base. The theft of second officially made him the first Brave to ever join the 35-35 club.
With the Braves trailing 6-4 in the top of the seventh, Acuña showed off the other elite part of his game—his raw power—by ripping a 425-foot blast way past the fence in deep right-center:
The home run wasn’t enough to lift the Braves to the comeback win—they lost 9-5 in the end—but the dinger did put him one away from 40 for the year. If he can manage one more homer and four more stolen bases in the Braves’ final 14 games, he’ll become the youngest member of the 40-40 club, a group that currently features only four names: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano. Not bad company for a 21-year-old.
Even if Acuña falls short of those stats, what he has achieved this season at such a young age, helping the Braves comfortably stride into the playoffs as the NL East champions, has no precedent. He stands alone, dusting himself off after yet another stolen base.