Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuña Jr. are officially MLB’s Rookies of the Year. And we cannot say that’s too much of a surprise. After all, Ohtani and Babe Ruth are the only players since 1900 to hit 20-plus home runs and win four-plus games in the same season. As for Acuña, the 20-year-old took the NL East by storm this season. Ultimately, it would end in a playoff appearance for the young but fun Atlanta Braves.
And here we are. So, what kind of numbers did Ohtani and Acuña put up this season? Well, wait no longer for the recap — let’s get right to it!
Ohtani, an elite two-way player in Japan, did everything he could to live up to the hype this season. And despite injuries plaguing him often along the way, he did just that. But don’t just take our word for it; look at the numbers. With 367 plate appearances across 104 games, the phenom hit .285/.361/.564 with 21 doubles, two triples, 22 home runs and 10 stolen bases. He didn’t just bring it at the plate, however. Ohtani showed the world that he could handle major-league hitters as well.
Despite recording just 51.2 innings on the mound, Ohtani would finish with a 3.31 ERA, 3.60 FIP and 3.46 DRA. He also struck out opponents at a clip of 29.9%. If you have a legitimate argument against Shohei winning Rookie of the Year in the AL, I’d love to hear it. He didn’t get to pitch much due to injuries, but he was very effective when he did. And after enduring the “worst spring training” ever, plus being told he “can’t hit major-league pitching,” he proved just about everyone wrong.
Then there’s Acuña, who in 111 games quickly cemented his status as one of the faces of the NL East. In theory, it’ll be that way for years to come. With 487 plate appearances to prove himself at the plate, Acuña hit .293/.366/.552 with 26 doubles, four triples, 26 home runs and 16 stolen bases. With his help, the Braves made the playoffs for the first time since 2013. And the future only looks brighter from where we’re sitting. Plus, he’ll only be 21 years old when next season begins.
So congratulations to Acuña and Ohtani on their awards. They deserve it. And we cannot wait to see what they can do next.