Braves' Acuna awarded NL Rookie of the Year
Scott Cunningham / Getty Images Sport / Getty

It wasn't unanimous, but it was close.

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was named the National League Rookie of the Year on Monday, beating out Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto and Los Angeles Dodgers starter Walker Buehler. In 111 games, the 20-year-old hit .293/.366/.552 with 26 home runs and 16 stolen bases.

Player Team 1st 2nd 3rd Points
Ronald Acuna Jr. ATL 27 3 144
Juan Soto WAS 2 26 1 89
Walker Buehler LAD 1 1 20 28

Acuna is the eighth Braves player to win the award and the first since closer Craig Kimbrel took home the hardware in 2011.

It didn't take long for Acuna to make his presence known, hitting the first of his 26 long balls in only his second major-league game on April 26. While he struggled in May, Acuna rebounded and stormed to a monster second half, hitting .322/.403/.625 with 19 home runs in 68 games.

Acuna led all rookies in second-half home runs, RBIs, batting average, and slugging percentage. He's the 10th player in major-league history with 25 home runs and 15 stolen bases in his rookie campaign and the first to do so since Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout in 2012.

He also set a new Braves franchise record with eight leadoff home runs.

While his division rival Soto came up short, his season was nothing to scoff at. The 20-year-old posted a better OBP (.406) and wRC+ (146) and played in only five more games.

In another year, Buehler could've easily been considered the league's top rookie. He ultimately couldn't continue the Dodgers' streak of top rookies after shortstop Corey Seager and slugger Cody Bellinger earned the honor in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

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Braves' Acuna awarded NL Rookie of the Year
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