Angels starting pitcher and designated hitter Shoehi Ohtani won the American League Rookie of the Year on Monday night, defeating Yankees infielders Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres. Braves phenom Ronald Acuna Jr. won the NL version of the award.
The Angels two-way sensation led the trio of rookies in WAR this season per FanGraphs, producing a combination of pitching excellence and hitting prowess unseen since Babe Ruth. Ohtani is the fourth Japanese player to win Rookie of the Year and the first since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.
The Ruth comparrisons aren't hyperbole. Ohtani became just the second player in MLB history to hit 15-plus home runs while pitching 50-plus innings this season, proving to be a threat both on the mound and in the batter's box.
Ohtani struck out 63 batters in 51 2/3 innings this season, sporting a 3.31 ERA. His time on the mound ended on Sept. 2 after the Angels found UCL damage in his right elbow. Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in the first week of the offseason, presumably keeping him off the mound until 2020.
Elbow trouble limited Ohtani to designated hitting for much of the season. The Japanese sensation cranked 22 homers in 326 at-bats, hitting .285. His OPS of .925 ranked sixth in the American League.
Ohtani won 25 of 30 first-place votes. Andujar came in second place, outpacing Torres.