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40-40 club: Can Ronald Acuna Jr join the iconic list?

The All-Star Game has come and gone, which means it is time to start looking at season-long milestones.

One in particular is known as the “40-40 Club”, which refers to a player recording 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a single season.

This feat is extremely rare and only four players have ever reached this milestone. For this season, Ronald Acuna Jr. looks to be the most likely candidate to join this list.

He is +165 to do so this season and is -200 to miss out on joining a truly elite group.

MVP season in the offing

Acuna Jr. is already having an MVP caliber year and the fact that he plays for the Atlanta Braves makes it more likely that he will reach this milestone.

The Braves are currently the best team in baseball, which gives Acuna Jr. more opportunities for at-bats on a nightly basis.

There have been several times this season where Acuna Jr. batted twice in the same inning. Obviously, more at-bats means more chances to either get on-base and steal, or hit a home run and add to that tally.

Stats wise, Acuna Jr. is batting .332 this season, which is the third best batting average in the MLB.

He has recorded 23 home runs through 95 games, but here is the best part, he already has 44 stolen bases.

Acuna Jr. had essentially reached the required 40 stolen bases by the All-Star Break. Basically, Acuna Jr. just needs 17 home runs and he will join this club.

Other 40-40 club members

As mentioned above, there have only been four players to ever join this exclusive club. Below are the four players who have accomplished this feat and the stats they recorded to do so:

  • Jose Canseco, Oakland Athletics, 1988 - Canseco was the first player ever to reach this milestone and did so by hitting 42 home runs and by stealing exactly 40 bases.
  • Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants, 1996 - Bonds joined this list by hitting 42 home runs and stealing 40 bases in his 11th big league season.
  • Alex Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners, 1998 - A-Rod had a combined 59 home runs and a combined 44 stolen bases in his first two MLB seasons. He took it to another level in 1998, hitting 42 home runs and stealing 46 bases.
  • Alfonso Soriano, Washington Nationals, 2006 - Soriano nearly joined the club in 2002 when he hit 39 homer runs and stole 41 bases. However, just a few years later, after moving to the Nationals, he hit 46 home runs and stole 41 bases.

If you notice, everyone on this list ended the season with a little over 40 steals.

Acuna Jr. has already eclipsed that mark a few weeks ago and, with the amount of home runs that the Braves generate, asking him to hit 17 more home runs is not too much to ask.

Will Acuna Jr. join the 40-40 club?

The most likely answer is yes.

Having already completed half of this requirement is huge and with a couple of months still to play, Acuna Jr. should be able to reach the 40-home run mark by the end of the season.

In fact, at the rate he is going, he could very well set a new milestone for 40 home runs and 80 stolen bases.

This may be a stretch, but given what he has already done and given what the Braves are doing almost every night, this looks to be quite possible.

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