When it became officially official last night that the MLBPA had agreed to the terms set forth by Major League Baseball and we had a 2020 baseball season, I can't even describe how happy I was. I had really gotten to the point that I thought even Rob Manfred wouldn't impose a season and just let the whole thing go to shit.
But once I knew we had baseball, my first thought was how thankful I was that, even if just for 60 games, we get to watch Ronald Acuña Jr. in 2020.
Obviously losing an entire baseball season would have been horrific for everybody and the damage to the sport would have been immeasurable — if it hasn't been already. But losing an entire season from the careers of all the young stars in the game would have been devastating.
I'm so happy I get to watch Acuña play for my team every day, but baseball is — again, at least before these labor negotiations — in its best position in recent memory in terms of young talent, with guys like Vlad Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Walker Buehler, Mike Soroka and the list goes on and on.
And I would put Acuña at the very top of that list with no reservations. After piling up 41 home runs and 37 stolen bases last season, I think he very easily could have become the fifth player in MLB history to join the 40/40 club in just his age-22 season if there had been 162 games. And I think at some point in his career, he will be chasing the first 50/50 season in MLB history.
There are so many different lists that include Acuña alongside guys like Trout, Pujols, A-Rod and others that it's difficult to keep track of them. But if you go into Baseball Reference and put in just a few of his stats through a player's age-21 season, you'll see something like this.
That's a list of players in the history of baseball with 1,200 plate appearances, 300 hits, 65 home runs and an .890 OPS before turning 22. You could make all sorts of different lists like that one with Acuña's stats, but it just goes to show that there aren't very many people who have ever played this game that have done what he has in what little time he's been in the Big Leagues.
I'm so excited to get to watch at least some version of a 2020 season from Ronnie Ding Dongs and see him lead the Atlanta Braves all the way to a title that the haters will say won't count — and we absolutely do not care.