The Baseball Writers’ Association of America delivered their verdict for AL Rookie of the Year, selecting pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani over Yankees 3B Miguel Andújar and SS/2B Gleyber Torres.
Ohtani won 25 out of 30 first-place votes in what ended up being a surprising landslide decision. Andújar received the remaining five first-place votes, 20 for second-place and four third-place votes. Torres received just three second-place votes and 16 third-place votes.
Working around a few disabled list stints, Ohtani turned in an impressive .285/.361/.564 (152 wRC+) hitting line that was bolstered by 51⅔ innings of 3.31 ERA pitching. The 24-year-old will only hit next season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right arm.
Andújar’s rookie season was a bit of surprise to a fan base salivating for the debut of Torres. He hit .297/.328/.527 (128 wRC+) after beginning the season in Triple-A. He ended up playing in 149 of the team’s 162 games, and finished behind just Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton with 21.3 batting runs (offensive component of WAR). The defense, however, was a whole different issue. He was credited with a -15.5 defense WAR rating, which plummeted his overall value to just 2.7 fWAR.
Torres played in 123 of the Yankees games in 2018, hitting .271/.340/.480 (120 wRC+). He injected some youthful energy into the team, even though that sometimes led to poor baserunning and defensive lapses. But, he demonstrated that he will easily grow into one of the best middle infielders in the MLB with more experience.
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. beat out finalists OF Juan Soto (Nationals) and RHP Walker Buehler (Dodgers) to win the National League Rookie of the Year.