2018 MLB awards: Breaking down the ballots

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 1: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates with teammates after defeating the Chicago Cubs, 3-1, during the game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, October 1, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Durochik/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 1: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates with teammates after defeating the Chicago Cubs, 3-1, during the game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, October 1, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Durochik/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
(Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images) /

American League Rookie of the Year – Shohei Ohtani – Los Angeles Angels

As impressive as Shohei Ohtani was last year, we may have only scratched the surface of what he can be.

Nonetheless, what we saw from the two way talent was certainly intriguing. Ohtani impressed with the bat and on the mound, until elbow soreness turned him strictly into a designated hitter for three months. While he attempted to make a comeback as a pitcher, he injured his elbow even more, requiring Tommy John surgery that will keep him from pitching in 2019.

However, his overall performance was still transcendent. During his all too brief time on the mound, Ohtani posted a 3.31 ERA and a 1.161 WHiP, striking out 63 batters with just 22 walks in 51.2 innings. With the bat, Ohtani produced a .285/.361/.564 batting line, hitting 22 homers and even stealing ten bases.

The two way experiment is going to be on hold for now, as Ohtani will not pitch next season. However, he did prove to be a difference maker with both the bat and on the mound, a two way talent the likes of which has not been seen since Martin Dihigo or Babe Ruth. Maybe he never reaches either of those legends over his career, but Ohtani showed that there is still a place for a two way player in this day and age. He has changed baseball in just one year.

Also considered: Miguel Andujar, Brad Keller