Top 10 Rookie of the Year performances in the 2000s

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 03: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Aaron Judge of the Yankees in action. He is a former MLB rookie of the year. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 03: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Aaron Judge of the Yankees in action. He is a former MLB rookie of the year. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels waits in the box.
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

No. 7: Shohei Ohtani – 2018 Los Angeles Angels

Shohei Ohtani entered the MLB in 2018 and became one of the most talked-about Japanese baseball players. What was exciting about Ohtani is his ability to pitch and hit. In his Rookie of the Year campaign, he hit .285, a .564 slugging percentage, a 151 OPS+, 22 home runs, 61 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases. Although these offensive numbers do not necessarily match up to the offensive metrics the other ROY Award winners posted, Ohtani’s pitching statistics on top of his offensive numbers led me to add him to my list.

Ohtani pitched in 10 games where he had a 4-2 record, 3.31 ERA over 51.2 innings pitched. The Japanese native struck out 63 batters as a 23-year old. He also had a 127 ERA+, a 3.57 FIP, and 1.161 WHIP. Ohtani had an overall 4.0 WAR during the 2018 season. Again, when singling out just his pitching or hitting metrics, it is not the most impressive per se. But combined, it is truly special and a testament to Ohtani’s skills. His numbers prove his hitting savvy, power, speed, velocity, and movement on pitches. Ohtani is a one of a kind player with well-rounded abilities.

If Ohtani were a one-dimensional player, these stats would definitely not warrant his 2018 season performance to land him on my list. But because of his two-way ability and results, he deserves recognition on this list.

Ohtani is still 26-years-old and the best of his MLB career is still ahead of him. Ohtani has struggled to pitch as he did in his rookie season after injuring his elbow, but he still has time. His offensive skills will continue to improve and be important for the Angels led by Mike Trout, as they try to find their early 2000s performances.