Braves' Acuna beats Nats' Soto for NL Rookie of Year
Ronald Acuna Jr.
ATLANTA - Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was an overwhelming pick for National League Rookie of the Year, easily beating Washington outfielder Juan Soto.
The 20-year-old Acuna received 27 first-place votes and three seconds for 144 points from the Baseball Writers' Association of America in balloting announced Monday.
Soto got two firsts and 89 points, and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler was next with one firsts and 28 points.
Acuna started the season at Triple-A and made his debut on April 25, the youngest player in the majors then at 20 years, 128 days. The Venezuelan hit .293 with 26 homers, 64 RBIs and 16 steals with a .917 OPS. He set a Braves record with eight leadoff homers this season and tied a franchise mark by homering in five straight games from Aug. 11-14.
Soto debuted on May 20 at 19 years, 207 days, although in a quirk the Dominican is credited with a home run from five days before his debut -- he went deep on June 18 against the New York Yankees in the completion of the May 15 suspended game. Soto hit .292 with 22 homers, 70 RBIs and a .923 OPS.
Buehler, a 23-year-old right-hander, was 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 23 starts and one relief appearance.