AL Rookie of the Year Finalists:
Ohtani has already been named Rookie of the Year by Baseball American, Baseball Digest, and the IBWWA. They all know what they are talking about. Migueal Andujar was named ROY by The Sporting News but who really even reads that?? Everyone but The Sporting News got it right. The vote wasn’t even close.
Babe Ruth. Shohei Ohtani. There really aren’t many comparisons to what Ohtani did in his record setting debut season. Ohtani was the first player since Babe Ruth (99 years ago) to pitch 50 innings and hit 15 home runs in a single season. But wait - there’s more! Ohtani became the ONLY player in MLB history to hit 10 home runs, steal 10 bases, and pitch 10 games pitched in a single season - and he did all those things VERY WELL. He also became the first player in history to hit 15 home runs and strike out 50 hitters. Take that Babe Ruth!
Gleyber Torres hasn’t had any ROY nods but he DID have a good season with a .271/.340/.480 slashline, 2.9 bWAR, 24 home runs, and 6 stolen bases. He was also an All Star. In fact, looking purely at slashlines, Torres looks better (or pretty comparable) to Andujar who slashed .297/.328/.527 with a 2.2 bWAR, 27 home runs, and 2 stolen bases.
Miguel Andujar .297/.328/.527 in 606 PA— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) November 12, 2018
Shohei Ohtani .285/.361/.564 in 367 PA
Ohtani the superior hitter, Andujar narrows the gap in volume of course. Turns out they were both worth 21 Batting Runs this year (that's the hitting component of WAR). Only 15 AL players were higher.
Ohtani? Well, he put up a 3.9 bWAR with a .285/.361/.564 slashlane with 22 home runs and 10 stolen bases. His offensive numbers ALONE were better than either Andujar or Torres so you could just leave it there - but let’s not. Ohtani also started 10 games with a 3.31 ERA, 1.161 WHIP, and 63 Ks over 51.2 innings. Truly remarkable - and the kind of player that literally comes along once in a century.
Over the last two months of the season, Ohtani went on a complete tear - even after finding out he’d likely be headed for Tommy John Surgery. In those last 38 games started he hit 13 home runs, stole 8 bases, walked 17 times, drove in 36 runs, and put up an insane 1.042 OPS.
Ohtani was the better hitter, the better pitcher (duh), and Andujar was a terrible liability on the field with second worst DRS rating in all of MLB and the worst overall in terms of UZR/150.
We hear someone's up for Rookie of the Year!— Angels (@Angels) November 5, 2018
Congratulations to Shohei Ohtani on being named a finalist for the BBWAA AL Jackie Robinson ROY Award! pic.twitter.com/9gVqW4vM4t
Some more Ohtani facts?
- He won AL Player of the week right after he learned he’d be heading for likely surgery
- Among players with more than 300 ABs, he had the 5th best wRC+ in the AL
- He hit more home runs than all other pitchers combined
- He threw the fastest pitch by any starter this season
- His 15.2% swinging strike rate is second best in the AL behind Chris Sale and 4th best in MLB - AND his splitter had the highest whiff rate of all pitches by ALL pitchers this season
- He’s changed the way we look at baseball and two-way players
Any more questions? Nope.