Japanese-born MLB player Shohei Ohtani became the first person in a long time to excel as a pitcher and hitter, and now Ohtani has a Rookie of the Year award to show for it.
The prized Los Angeles Angels offseason acquisition was named the American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Monday. Ohtani received 25 of the 30 first-place votes, and the two-way talent finished with 137 points.
“Accomplishing something this special my first year means a whole lot to me,” Ohtani told MLB Network through a translator. “Especially, I think it means a whole lot for people that have been supporting me this whole time, so I’m really grateful.”
Ohtani beat out two New York Yankees — third baseman Miguel Andújar and infielder Gleyber Torres — to win the Rookie of the Year. Andújar finished second after getting five first-place votes (89 points). Torres was third with 25 points, while Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Joey Wendle was fourth with 17 points.
Ohtani became the only player, along with Babe Ruth (1919), to hit at least 20 home runs and pitch 50 innings in the same season, per ESPN. The right hander pitched 51 2/3 innings in 10 starts, going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts. Although he was limited by injuries throughout the season, Ohtani posted a .285 batting average with 21 home runs and 61 RBIs in 326 at-bats.
Will Shohei Ohtani be crowned the 2018 @officialBBWAA AL Rookie of the Year?
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) November 12, 2018
After undergoing Tommy John Surgery at the conclusion of the regular season, Ohtani isn’t expected to pitch for the Angels next season. However, he will likely serve as the team’s full-time designated hitter when he is healthy enough to play.