While the Atlanta Braves' 2023 season came to an end, unexpectedly sooner than many would have predicted, their historic run was filled with team and individual record-setting accomplishments, including that of Ronald Acuña Jr., who was named a National League MVP finalist earlier this week. By season’s end, Acuña was the Braves’ single-season stolen base leader with 73 in addition to becoming MLB’s fifth 40/40 player, with 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases, as well as becoming the first 40/50, 40/60 and 40/70 player in league history.
On Wednesday, former Atlanta Braves All-Star Chipper Jones joined Steak Shapiro and Rusty Mansell on The Steakhouse and during their discussion Mansell had the opportunity to ask Jones to share his thoughts on the season that Acuña Jr. produced.
“What do you see out of him that this guy is just so different and what’s his ceiling down the line,” Mansell asked.
Jones admitted he couldn't have imagined the Braves’ outfielder could have produced the numbers he did in the 2023 campaign and that in a positive way, he is uncertain of what the future may hold for Acuña Jr.
“I don’t know what the ceiling is because he just went way beyond what I thought the ceiling was,” Jones responded adding that he initially was not sure that Acuña Jr. would be able to hit 300 home runs in his MLB career.
That all changed after witnessing that stats that Acuña Jr. produced this past season.
“His ability to do everything well, he plays a helluva right field, he’s got a cannon for an arm, he can fly," Jones said. "I mean now he can hit for average, he’s cut way down on his swing-and-miss and his chase rate. And when a guy with that much ability makes you throw the ball over the plate, good luck."