Braves fans were given an expensive reminder on Wednesday afternoon just how lucky they are to have Ronald Acuña Jr. signed to the contract he inked. Wednesday night Padres budding superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. signed with San Diego for $340 million
Ronald Acuña Jr. is sitting on an eight-year contract extension that will net him $100 million and that has him being massively underpaid.
Acuña Jr., one of the best players in baseball, was close to joining the very exclusive 40 HR and 40 SB club in 2019. His pace in 2020 had the season not been shortened by a pandemic would have had him nearly there if they played all 162 games.
Acuña has even put pressure on himself to become the first guy ever to go for 50 and 50.
Despite his performances the past few seasons, multiple MLB analysts don't consider Acuña to be one of the top 10 players in the game.
There's no doubt that Acuña's performance places him among the top performers in the game. But for whatever reason, he just doesn't seem to be placed in that group very often outside of Atlanta.
You have to wonder if Acuña Jr. would be viewed differently by the national media if he had a massive contract similar to Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, or Fernando Tatis' Jr.'s deal.
Would people view Acuña as a top-10 player if he was paid a top-10 salary? While it certainly shouldn't make a difference in the eyes of analysts, it likely does.
Of course, it's nothing new for Braves fans to see a player be perpetually underrated as Freddie Freeman is just now finally getting the praise and national attention that he's deserved his entire career.