It’s MBL Awards week. And the first to be announced today is the award for Rookie of the Year in each league. Here are the finalists:
American League Rookie of the Year:
Miguel Andujar, 3B, Yankees: To go with his 27 homers, which tied the White Sox outfielder Daniel Palka for the Major League lead among rookies, Andujar also set a Yankees rookie record with 47 doubles, surpassing Joe DiMaggio’s 44 in 1936.
Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH, Angels: Billed as the “Japanese Babe Ruth,” Ohtani delivered, becoming the first player since Ruth with 10 pitching appearances and 20 homers in a season. Though a right elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery prevented him from pitching in the second half, he was above average both in 51 2/3 innings pitched (126 ERA+) and in 367 plate appearances (152 OPS+).
Gleyber Torres, 2B, Yankees: Though Andujar eventually overtook him in several key categories, Torres finished with a solid .271/.340/.480 slash line to go with 24 homers and 16 doubles.
National League Rookie of the Year:
Ronald Acuna Jr., OF, Braves: The 20-year-old had the third-highest OPS of any player in baseball in the second half (1.028) and finished with 26 homers, 16 steals and a .552 slugging percentage. His ascension to the leadoff spot after the All-Star break sparked the Braves in the NL East race.
Walker Buehler, RHP, Dodgers: The votes came in before Buehler truly flipped the star switch with a terrific postseason. But his regular season had plenty of highlights, too. Buehler’s 2.31 ERA as a starter was the lowest by a rookie with at least 130 innings since Jose Fernandez’s 2.19 mark in 2013.
Juan Soto, OF, Nationals: The 19-year-old wound up in the teenage-season record books for second-most homers (22, tied with teammate Bryce Harper from 2012), most multihomer games (three), most walks (79) and highest OBP (.406) and OPS (.923).