Ronald Acuña Jr., Shohei Ohtani Capture Rookie of the Year Awards

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In what turned into a runaway vote in both leagues, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Shohei Ohtani captured the Rookie of the Year Awards Monday night. Acuña captured the award in the National League while Ohtani took home the honor in the American League.

Ronald Acuña Jr., Shohei Ohtani Capture Rookie of the Year Awards

NL Vote

The voting was not close in either league, but Acuña received 27 of 30 possible first-place votes, the most in either race. The Atlanta Braves outfielder captured the award with 144 total points with Washington Nationals OF Juan Soto receiving two first-place votes and 89 points. Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler also received a first-place vote.

Acuña’s Performance

Acuña did not make his debut until April 25 while also missing a month due to a knee injury, but that did not slow him down. He especially found his stride in the second half after a move to the leadoff spot created a spark. Acuña would finish the season with 111 games played and 26 home runs while slashing .293/.366/.552 with 26 doubles and 16 stolen bases.

It will go down as one of the best seasons in history for a 20-year-old player. With an impressive blend of speed, elite power, and solid defense, Acuña certainly is a star on the rise. He did not simply put the NL on notice, he blew the door down in 2018 and established himself as one of the most dangerous hitters in the game moving forward.

AL Vote

While Ohtani did not earn quite as many points in voting as Acuña, he still captured the award in a landslide. The Los Angeles Angels two-way star received 25 of the 30 possible first-place votes and 137 points while New York Yankees infielder Miguel Andujar received five first-place votes. Andujar finished second with 89 points while teammate Gleyber Torres finished third.

Ohtani’s Performance

Simply put, no one has done what Ohtani did this season since Babe Ruth. While he may not go down in history like Ruth, Ohtani demonstrated he is a legitimate star both on the mound and at the plate. Offensively, Ohtani slashed .285/.361/.564 with 22 home runs, 21 doubles, 61 runs driven in, and 59 runs scored. That stat line alone is impressive for a rookie, but he did not stop there.

Ohtani made 10 starts on the mound, going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 51.2 innings pitched. He recorded 63 strikeouts, good enough for 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings before an elbow injury ended his time on the mound. Maximizing Ohtani’s ability remains a question mark due to his two-way potential, but there’s no denying 2018 was a special year for a multitude of reasons. Ohtani becomes just the fourth Japanese-born player to win a Rookie of the Year award.

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