Ronald Acuña Jr. Signs with Bad Bunny’s Rimas Sports for Representation

Ronald Acuña Jr. has new all-star representation…

Rimas Sports — an agency partnership between Bad Bunny and executives Noah Assad and Jonathan Miranda — has signed the Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder who plays for the Atlanta Braves to an exclusive representation agreement.

Ronald Acuña Jr., Rimas Sports, Bad Bunny,“We are thrilled to welcome the Acuña family to Rimas Sports,” Miranda, CEO of Rimas Sports, said in a statement. “Ronald is a once-in-a-generation player, and we are confident that together we will take his extraordinary career to new heights. Acuña is aligned with Rimas Sports’ foundational principle of empowering the next generation of Latin American players by helping them build lasting legacies for themselves, their families, and their communities.”

The renowned athlete kicked off his career with Braves organization in 2014 and made his MLB debut in 2018 when he nabbed the Rookie of the Year title.

In 2023, the four-time MLB All-Star was named the 2023 National League Most Valuable Player in his sixth major-league season, marking the eighth time a Braves player has nabbed the title after Freddie Freeman (2020), Chipper Jones (1999), Terry Pendleton (1991), Dale Murphy (1982, 1983), Hank Aaron (1957), Robert Elliott (1947) and Johnny Evers (1914).

A press statement at the time noted that Acuña “was a unanimous selection, receiving 30 of 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He finished with 420 points, 150 more than runner-up Mookie Betts.”

To celebrate his new MVP title, award-winning Mexican-American producer Samuel Ash dropped “La Bestia,” a catchy dembow song performed by Dominican artist Niko Eme.

“We wanted something that felt global and to do something we could put a chant to,” Ash previously told Billboard. “I know dembow is a Dominican genre but I felt that it could still feel global and resonate with him as a Venezuelan.”

Ronald Acuna Jr. Wins MLB’s National League Hank Aaron Award

Ronald Acuna Jr. has picked up another prestigious honor…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder for the Atlanta Braves has won the 2023 Hank Aaron Awards on Saturday, presented by Major League Baseball (MLB) to the most outstanding offensive performer in each league.

Ronald Acuña Jr.,The MLB award is picked by fan balloting combined with votes from a panel of Hall of Famers and former winners, a group that this year included Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Pedro Martínez, Eddie Murray, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, John Smoltz and Robin Yount.

Acuna was a unanimous winner of his first National League MVP after becoming the first big leaguer with 40 homers and 70 stolen bases in a season.

Acuna was second in the NL with a .336 batting average for the Braves and led the major leagues with 149 runs, 217 hits, 386 total bases and 73 stolen bases while hitting 41 home runs with 106 RBI.

Shohei Ohtani, meantime, won the American League’s Hank Aaron Award.

The pair also won Most Valuable Player awards last month in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Ohtani was the first two-time unanimous MVP.

Every team nominated candidates for the Aaron awards and a group of MLB.com writers picked nine finalists in each league. The awards were introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth‘s career home run record.

Ronald Acuna Jr. Wins National League’s Most Valuable Player Award in Unanimous Fashion

Ronald Acuna Jr. is the unanimous choice…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player, an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, has been named the Most Valuable Player of Major League Baseball’s National League, in unanimous fashion no less.

Ronald Acuña Jr.,In the American League, Shohei Ohtani was the unanimous choice for MVP.

Acuna and Ohtani’s unanimous wins are historic, since it’s an unprecedented occurrence in the 92-year history of the award.

Acuna beat out Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who came in second on all 30 ballots.

A force at the leadoff spot for a fearsome Braves lineup, Acuna combined 41 home runs with an NL-leading 73 stolen bases, easily becoming the first ever member of the 40-70 club.

He also led the NL in on-base percentage (.416), OPS (1.012), hits (217) and runs scored (149). His .337 batting average trailed only Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez (.354) for the major league lead.

Acuna did not attend his scheduled conference call with BBWAA members because he debuted for the Tiburones de La Guaira of the Venezuelan winter league shortly after claiming the award. The game was pushed back an hour to accommodate the announcement.

Acuna won the NL Rookie of the Year Award during his age-20 season in 2018 — Ohtani won the AL version that year — and finished fifth in NL MVP voting during his age-21 season in 2019, clearly establishing himself as one of the most dynamic forces in the sport. But he suffered a torn ACL in the middle of the 2021 season, forcing him to merely watch from the dugout while his Braves teammates won a championship later that fall. The following year, he was admittedly not himself. The explosiveness that helped elevate him to stardom was lacking. His timing in the batter’s box was off.

Acuna spent the ensuing offseason working diligently on his conditioning and trained with Fernando Tatis Sr., father of his good friend Fernando Tatis Jr., on slightly lowering his hands to lessen some of the moving parts in his swing and get his bat through the zone more quickly. Through six months of baseball’s regular season, Acuna’s OPS never fell below .900.

Acuna’s stolen-base total was aided by new rules that introduced a pitch clock, increased the size of bases and limited the number of pitcher disengagements, but he hit 13 more home runs than the next-closest player ever to 70 stolen bases and stole 27 more bases than the next-closest player ever to 40 home runs.

“I don’t know what to say — just super excited, happy,” Acuna, surrounded by family and friends in his native Venezuela, told MLB Network in Spanish. “Hopefully, by the grace of God, I can have an even better year next year than the one I just had.”

Tampa Bay Rays’ Star Yandy Diaz Wins His First Silver Slugger Award

Yandy Diaz is celebrating his first silver moment…

The 32-year-old Cuban professional baseball player and Tampa Bay Rays star has won his first Silver Slugger Award, which is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball.

Yandy DiazDiaz, who has played for the Rays since 2019, won the award in the American League’s first base position. He was this year’s AL batting champion.

Seattle Mariners’ star Julio Rodriguez has picked up his second Silver Slugger Award.

The 22-year-old Dominican professional baseball center fielder won one of the outfield awards in the American League.

In the National League voting, 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player William Contreras, who plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, has claimed his maiden Silver Slugger.

NL batting champion Luis Arraez (.354) of the Miami Marlins won his second in a row after winning in 2022 with the AL‘s Minnesota Twins.

Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. collected his third Silver Slugger Award in the outfield, alongside San Diego PadresJuan Soto, who claimed his fourth award.

Francisco Lindor, the 29-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop for the New York Mets, picked up the third Silver Slugger prize of his career.

The Texas Rangers received their first American League Offensive Team of the Year honor.

Louisville Slugger presented the Atlanta Braves with the inaugural National League Offensive Team of the Year award as determined by a combination of offensive statistics and a fan vote for finalists between September 25-October 1.

Both the Rangers and Braves led their leagues in runs, hits, home runs, RBIs, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.

Here’s the full list of winners: 

American League
C: Adley Rutschman (Baltimore)
1B: Yandy Diaz (Tampa Bay)
2B: Marcus Semien (Texas)
SS: Corey Seager (Texas)
3B: Rafael Devers (Boston)
OF: Kyle Tucker (Houston), Julio Rodriguez (Seattle), Luis Robert Jr. (Chicago)
DH: Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles)
UTIL: Gunnar Henderson (Baltimore)

National League
C: William Contreras (Milwaukee)
1B: Matt Olson (Atlanta)
2B: Luis Arraez (Miami)
SS: Francisco Lindor (New York)
3B: Austin Riley (Atlanta)
OF: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta), Mookie Betts (Los Angeles), Juan Soto (San Diego)
DH: Bryce Harper (Philadelphia)
UTIL: Cody Bellinger (Chicago)

Ronald Acuna Jr. Named a National League MVP Finalist

Ronald Acuna Jr. has landed on the MVP finals list…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player and Atlanta Braves outfielder is among the finalists for the National League MVP award, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced in a show televised on MLB Network.

Ronald Acuña Jr.,Acuña had a record-breaking season for the Braves, becoming the first player to finish a season with 40 home runs and 70 stolen bases.

The other two finalists for the award include former Braves star Freddie Freeman and his Los Angeles Dodgers teammate, Mookie Betts.

Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas is among the American League Rookie of the Year finalists include Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson and Cleveland right-hander Tanner Bibee.

The AL Cy Young Award will come down to three right-handers vying for their first plaque: the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, Toronto Blue Jays’ Kevin Gausman and Minnesota Twins’ Sonny Gray, who officially hit free agency at 5:00 pm ET on Monday.

In the NL, left-hander Blake Snell — also a free agent — is the favorite to win his second Cy Young, while San Francisco’s Logan Webb and Zac Gallen of NL champion Arizona are seeking their first.

Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll is the distinct favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year and is a finalist alongside New York Mets right-hander Kodai Senga and Dodgers outfielder James Outman.

The final BBWAA award, Manager of the Year, is headlined in the NL by Craig Counsell, who was hired away Monday from Milwaukee by the Chicago Cubs. He’s opposed by Atlanta’s Brian Snitker and the favorite, Miami manager Skip Schumaker, who led the Marlins to the postseason despite a -57 run differential.

The AL slate is led by Rangers manager Bruce Bochy — who last won the award in 1996 — along with two-time winner Kevin Cash of Tampa Bay and Baltimore’s Brandon Hyde, who led the Orioles to a 101-win season and the AL East title.

Rookie of the Year results will be announced next week, with Manager of the Year on November 14, Cy Young on November 15 and MVP on November 16.

Ronald Acuña Jr. Named MLB’s Player of the Year by Major League Baseball Players Association

Ronald Acuña Jr. is this year’s Major League Baseball all-star, according to his peers…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder and Atlanta Braves right fielder has been voted player of the year and the National League‘s outstanding player by fellow major leaguers in the annual Players Choice Awards of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Ronald Acuña Jr.,Los Angeles Angels designated hitter and pitcher Shohei Ohtani was voted the American League‘s outstanding player, the union said Thursday.

Acuña became the first player with 40 homers and 70 stolen bases in a season, hitting .337 with 41 homers, 106 RBIs and 73 stolen bases. No player previously had 40 homers and 50 steals in a season.

Ohtani hit .304 with 44 homers, 95 RBIs and 20 stolen bases and went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings. His pitching season ended August 23 because of a torn elbow ligament, an injury that will keep him from the mound until 2025. His hitting season ended September 3 due to an oblique strain.

Ohtani is expected to be the top player on the free agent market.

Marcus Semien, the second baseman of the World Series champion Texas Rangers, won his second Marvin Miller man of the year award, given to a player whose leadership inspires others. Semien, who also received the award in 2021, is a member of the union’s eight-man executive subcommittee.

Former outfielder Phil Bradley was awarded the Curt Flood Award for advancement of players’ rights and devotion to the union. Bradley is a union special assistant for international and domestic special events.

The New York Yankees‘ Gerrit Cole was selected as the AL outstanding pitcher and San Diego‘s Blake Snell the NL outstanding pitcher.

Comeback players were Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger in the NL and Chicago White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks in the AL.

Outstanding rookies were Arizona outfielder Corbin Carroll in the NL and Baltimore infielder Gunnar Henderson in the AL.

Ronald Acuña Jr. Becomes First MLB Player to Hit at least 40 Home Runs & Steal 70 Bases in Single Season

Ronald Acuña Jr.  is making Major League Baseball history…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder’s steal of second base in the 10th inning of a hard-fought matchup between his Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs was Acuña’s second of the night and 70th this season, making him the first player in MLB history to hit at least 40 home runs and steal 70 bases in a single season.

Ronald Acuña Jr., It came just moments before teammate Ozzie Albies drove him home for the winning run, setting off pandemonium at Truist Park as the Braves secured the No. 1 seed in the National League playoffs.

“Very happy, mostly that we were able to win,” Acuña said through an interpreter after the 6-5 victory. “I’m extremely happy to have created the 40-70 club.”

Acuña has 41 homers, extending a historic season that already saw him become the first 40-50 and 40-60 player. He is the second Braves player with 70 steals in a season since 1900, joining Otis Nixon in 1991 (72).

“It was one of those numbers that wasn’t impossible but seemed impossible,” Acuña said.

Atlanta erased deficits of 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4 against the Cubs, with Marcell Ozuna hitting a tying homer in the ninth before Acuña singled home Kevin Pillar to tie the game at 5 in the 10th. Then on the first pitch to Albies, Acuña took off for second, sliding safely in headfirst. He acknowledged the crowd, then took the base out of the ground and held it high above his head before sending it back to the dugout.

“It’s crazy what he’s done,” Albies said. “I told myself I need to come through right here. Whatever it takes. I’m happy I came through in that spot and we won that game.”

Added Acuña: “Super emotional game. It felt like a playoff atmosphere. This is a preview to what could be in the postseason.”

By clinching the NL’s top seed, the Braves will have home-field advantage through the National League Championship Series should they advance that far. Atlanta (102-56) needs one win to guarantee home-field advantage through the World Series.

“It’s great if we get past the first round,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We had it in 2021 against the Dodgers, which is big. You play a team like that, you want to play as many games as you can here.”

The loss was the second heartbreaker in a row for the Cubs, who are battling for their playoff lives in the NL wild-card race.

Chicago dropped into a tie with the Miami Marlins for the NL‘s third and final wild card at 82-76, but would lose a tiebreaker with them.

As meaningful as the win was for the Braves, it was secondary to Acuña’s historic night.

“That’s about as good as it gets,” Snitker said. “I thought it was great when he picked up the bag. The fans had to love that. We all did because it was a special moment.”

Ozuna had just one simple message regarding his teammate.

“I just say three words: MVP.

“It’s no doubt.”

Atlanta Braves Star Ronald Acuña Jr. Becomes 5th Player In MLB History with 40-40 Season

Ronald Acuña Jr. has entered an exclusive Major League Baseball club…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder and Atlanta Braves star became the fifth player in MLB history to have 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a season, entering the exclusive club when he led off Friday night’s game against the Washington Nationals with his 40th homer.

Ronald Acuña Jr.Acuña sent a 3-2 slider from Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin over the left-field fence for his eighth leadoff homer of the season.

He joined Alfonso Soriano (2006), Alex Rodriguez (1998), Barry Bonds (1996) and Jose Canseco (1988) as the only members of the 40-40 club.

“It’s elite company, that’s for sure,” manager Brian Snitker said. “I’m just glad I got a front-row seat to watch it.”

Acuña, one of the leading contenders for National League MVP honors, entered the game with 68 stolen bases, tops in the majors. He is the only player ever to have a 40-60 season, and in fact, no one before this season had ever achieved a 40-50 season.

“It’s pretty incredible, and just think of how many players have played in the big leagues and my name is alone,” Acuña said of the 40-60 season. “But I’m hoping, and I’m sure someone will break that record too.”

Friday’s homer was the 160th of Acuña’s career. According to ESPN Stats & Information, he’s the first player in MLB history with 160 homers and 160 stolen bases at age 25 or younger. Acuña has 175 career stolen bases.

Acuña also doubled and scored three runs in the Braves’ 9-6 win. He has hit safely in 14 of his past 15 games, with eight home runs and 15 RBIs in that span. His 143 runs scored are the most since Rodriguez also tallied 143 runs in his 2007 MVP campaign.

“He’s healthy,” Snitker said. “He wasn’t healthy last year, and he has been from the get-go this year. I think that’s a product of him doing what he can do because he’s healthy again.”

Braves right-hander Charlie Morton pitched a scoreless inning before he was removed Friday with a right index sprain, Snitker said. He will undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Morton said he hopes to be ready for the postseason.

“This is more a question about effectiveness,” Morton said. “I can pitch. I can go out there and pitch, but the next start I make is probably going to be in the postseason, if I had to guess. It’s not a game in late May or early August. It’s going to be the biggest of the season. That’s where the frustration comes in and the question mark comes in.”

Nolan Arenado Named a Starter for His Eighth MLB All-Star Game

Nolan Arenado will be starting in yet another Major League Baseball All-Star Game… 

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American professional baseball a third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals has been voted as a starter for the MLB All-Star Game in Seattle next month.

Nolan ArenadoArenado will be headed to the All-Star Game for the eighth time in his career.

The final round of voting was announced on Thursday evening and revealed three starters from the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, while the MLB-leading Tampa Bay Rays will have two starters — Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena.

Arizona Diamondbacks rookie Corbin Carroll also made the team as a starter in the outfield, where he’ll join veterans Mookie Betts and Ronald Acuna Jr.

Other highlights from the second phase of voting include Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez beating out Philadelphia Phillies DH Bryce Harper in a close vote (53% to 47%), denying Harper of the National League honor after his quick return from Tommy John surgery.

Meanwhile, Mike Trout earned his 11th All-Star appearance while Freddie Freeman is the National League‘s starter at first base in his seventh All-Star Game.

MLB’s leading hitter, Luis Arraez, also was named a starter, beating out Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies. Arraez was batting over .400 as recently as this past weekend, but saw that mark drop to .392 on Thursday.

“I almost cried there,” Arraez said after learning of his election.

Albies’ teammate, catcher Sean Murphy, won out over Dodgers backstop Will Smith to garner his first All-Star appearance.

Shohei Ohtani (DH) and Acuna were previously announced as starters after leading their respective leagues in first-round voting.

All-Star pitchers and reserves will be named on Sunday.

The game takes place on Tuesday, July 11, at T-Mobile Park.

Here are the 2022 MLB All-Star Game starters:

American League
C — Jonah Heim, Rangers
1B — Yandy Diaz, Rays
2B — Marcus Semien, Rangers
SS — Corey Seager, Rangers
3B — Josh Jung, Rangers
DH — Shohei Ohtani, Angels
OF — Mike Trout, Angels
OF — Randy Arozarena, Rays
OF — Aaron Judge, Yankees

National League
C — Sean Murphy, Braves
1B — Freddie Freeman, Dodgers
2B — Luis Arraez, Marlins
SS — Orlando Arcia, Braves
3B — Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
DH — J.D. Martinez, Dodgers
OF — Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves
OF — Mookie Betts, Dodgers
OF — Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks

Pittsburgh Pirates Rookie Oneil Cruz Records hardest-hit ball in Seven Years MLB Has Measured Exit Velocity

Oneil Cruz is striking hot…

The 23-year-old Dominican professional baseball player and Pittsburgh Pirates rookie recorded the hardest-hit ball in the seven years that Major League Baseball has measured exit velocity, lashing a single that came off the bat at 122.4 mph in a 14-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

Oneil CruzCruz stepped in to face Braves starter Kyle Wright with one on and two outs in the third when he turned on a 91 mph fastball and smashed it off the 21-foot-high Clemente Wall in right field.

New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton previously had the record for the hardest-hit ball, reaching 122.2 mph in 2017 and again last year. MLB began tracking the metric in 2015.

“At the moment, I didn’t even think I hit the ball that hard,” said Cruz. “When I came into the dugout, some of my teammates shared with me that I hit it 122 (mph). I smiled but deep down inside I was like, ‘Wow, I really hit that ball hard.’ Now, finding out that I broke a record, it means a lot to me. That’s something positive to take away from today’s game.”

Cruz initially thought the ball would clear the fence. Instead, it caromed to Atlanta right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. and Cruz had no shot at extra bases. Acuna might have had an outside shot to get Cruz at first if first baseman Matt Olson had been covering the bag.

“To be honest with you, I did think it was going to go out but I did notice that it was starting to go down and about to hit the fence, that’s when I started running even harder,” Cruz said. “But I did expect it to go out. I didn’t expect it to hit the wall and come right back.”

The Pirates are in the midst of a massive overhaul, one that is relying on the 6-foot-6 Cruz. He made a brief cameo at the end of last season before arriving in the majors to stay on June 20. He’s batting .199 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs.

Despite his early struggles, Cruz’s tools have impressed Atlanta manager Brian Snitker, who said he’s glad the ball hit the wall instead of going over it, where it might have hurt someone.

Cruz has been a Statcast darling since his debut. The shortstop made the hardest recorded assist by an infielder on July 14 when he fired the ball across the diamond at 97.8 mph.

“He’s got skills, my God,” Snitker said. “You start grading tools and it’s off the charts, you know, for a big guy. I mean, that’s going to be fun to watch.”