“When is he going to get called up to the next league? That’s what I’m wondering,” Braves starter Ian Anderson said. “He’s been pretty unreal. I’ve seen people say it’s like he’s playing a video game. It’s special. It’s definitely fun to watch.”
Acuña became the first MLB player to tally seven home runs when he lined a two-run shot off Marlins lefty Trevor Rogers. The fifth-inning homer extended the recent tear produced by the 23-year-old outfielder, who exited Thursday’s game leading the National League in homers (7), OPS (1.492), slugging percentage (1.000), hits (23) and extra-base hits (14), total bases (52) and runs (17).
“We all have known the physical talent that he’s possessed since he came in the league,” said Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson, who delivered the walk-off hit in the ninth. “But this year, it’s being coupled by a different level of like mental maturity than I feel like we’ve seen the past couple years. I feel like he’s really, really locked in on his craft, dedicated to what it is that he wants to do.”
Acuña’s 14 extra-base hits tie him with Hank Aaron in 1958 for the most by a Braves player in the team’s first 13 games of a season. He’s also well within striking range of the franchise record for March/April home runs — 12, set by Justin Upton in 2013.
“Man, he’s been unbelievable,” said Braves veteran Pablo Sandoval, who hit his third pinch-hit homer of the year with a three-run shot in the sixth. “He’s from another planet. He can hit, and he can run. He’s a special young guy with great talents.”