MLB Awards season is upon us, and the first bit of hardware has been doled out. Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani has won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, with Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres finishing in second and third place, respectively.
Andujar started the season with the Yankees and was a consistent performer throughout, posting a monthly OPS below .820 only once. He was one of the most dependable run producers on the team all year, and ended the season with 27 home runs, 92 RBI, and a .297/.328/.527. Andujar’s candidacy was limited by his often terrible defense at third and his relatively low on base percentage, but his ability to hit the ball easily outweighed his shortcomings.
Torres didn’t debut until a few weeks into the season, but was a revelation upon being called up to the majors. He was sensational over his first 30 games, smashing nine home runs and posting a 1.013 OPS. Unfortunately, a hip injury sidelined Torres midseason, and appeared to hamper him upon his return. Even so, Torres finished with 24 homers and a .271/.340/.480 slash line, to go along with respectable defense up the middle. His top-three finish in the voting was well-earned.
In the end, neither Yankee could overshadow what Ohtani did this year. Ohtani was truly unique, running a tremendous .285/.361/.564 slash line at the plate while also maintaining a 3.31 ERA and striking out 63 strikeouts in 51.2 innings on the mound. Ohtani demonstrated the ability to be among the game’s best pitchers while also providing huge production as a DH.
We have never seen anything like Ohtani. He provided more WAR than both Andujar and Torres when you combine his contributions on both side of the ball, and he did it in a fashion we may never see again.
That does it for awards season for the Yankees. They had no finalists in the MVP, Cy Young, or Manager of the Year contests.