Shohei Ohtani is the American League Rookie of the Year for the 2018 season.
I haven’t seen Yankee fans this mad since they were told Didi is a good – not great – player.
Maybe when I told them A-Rod was more than a team player than Jeter. That got Yankee Universe pretty fired up…
But you can all relax Yankee fans, the BBWAA go this one right. Shohei Ohtani is a much better player than Miguel Andujar. It isn’t even close.
I’ve covered this before so I’m not going to re-hash, but Andujar was at best the 4th best rookie this season in the AL and wasn’t even the best on his own team. Comparing him to Ohtani is just plain silly.
For some close to home perspective, I believe Aaron Judge is the 3rd best player in baseball. Aaron Judge had a very good 2018 season. Ohtani was better than Judge offensively this season (152 OPS+ to 145 OPS+).
“But Ohtani only had 367 plate appearances!” Yankee Universe screams…
Fair point. But Ohtani did play better in the season’s 2nd half suggesting he was getting better, rather than the league may have “figured him out”. And in Andujar’s first 367 PA (368, actually) his OBP/SLG line was .326/.494 – well below Ohtani’s .361/.564.
Why am I bringing up offense?
Because Andujar is a very good offensive player and power hitter. A lot of doubles and a lot of home runs is a good thing. A high SLG% is one of the best things for an offensive player to have. But when his final ’18 SLG% is .527 and Ohtani’s was .564, we eliminate the Andujar defender’s rallying cry – there isn’t much left.
There’s no need to go to Ohtani’s pitching, which was above league average.
There’s no need to go to Andujar’s defense, which was historically bad.
There’s no need to go to WAR (Ohtani’s was higher, despite playing in 45 fewer games).
There’s no need to dispel the myth that Andujar came up with big hits. According to Baseball Reference, he was below league average in “clutch”, which factors in win probability added in high leverage situations. (Again it must be noted, that Gleyber Torres was above league average in the clutch – I’ve yet to hear a Yankee fan quote that in defending his ROY case.)
It’s OK Yankee fans, you have a very good player in Andujar, be happy. I don’t know if his future is at 1st base, in left field or as a DH but whatever the case may be you have a very good power hitter in your lineup for a while. But for the love of Tony Kubek…
He just ain’t Sho-time.
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