The case for each AL Rookie of the Year finalist

November 12th, 2018

The 2018 American League Rookie of the Year Award winner will be announced Monday at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network, and with a two-way sensation the likes of which we haven't seen since Babe Ruth, along with two Yankees sluggers being the finalists, the results -- like the race -- will be intriguing. electrified Major League Baseball by making the transition from Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball and living up to the hype as a flame-throwing right-hander and a middle-of-the-order slugger. Meanwhile, and helped fuel the Yanks to a 100-win season with historic campaigns of their own. Here's a look at the case for each finalist.

Miguel Andujar, Yankees

Stepping up after an early-season injury to , Andujar grabbed hold of the Yankees' starting third-base job and never looked back, becoming the first rookie third baseman in Major League history to tally at least 40 doubles and 25 homers.

The 23-year-old Andujar swiftly established his presence as an extra-base hit machine, raking 47 doubles to break Joe DiMaggio's single-season franchise record for rookies (44 in 1936) while equaling Boston's Fred Lynn ('75) for the most by an AL rookie.

Batting .297 with 27 homers and 92 RBIs across 149 games, Andujar led all Major League rookies in hits (170), doubles, RBIs, extra-base hits (76) and multihit games, while tying for first in homers and ranking second in runs (83) and batting average. One of the Yanks' most consistent offensive performers from wire to wire, Andujar's on-field success was rewarded with a pair of AL Rookie of the Month selections, honored in June and August.

-- Bryan Hoch

Shohei Ohtani, Angels

Nicknamed the Babe Ruth of Japan, Ohtani lived up to the lofty expectations that were thrust on him, emerging as one of the most dynamic talents in baseball. For the first two months of the season, Ohtani dominated as a right-handed pitcher and a left-handed slugger, though his two-way endeavor was ultimately derailed by a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow that required Tommy John surgery following the conclusion of the 2018 season.

Ohtani, 24, posted a 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts over 51 2/3 innings before his elbow trouble prematurely ended his season as a pitcher. Even after receiving his Tommy John surgery recommendation, Ohtani continued to hit in September, and he finished the season batting .285 with a .925 OPS, 22 home runs, 61 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 367 plate appearances with the Angels. The Ruth comparisons proved astute, as Ohtani and the Bambino are the only players in MLB history to hit 15 home runs and pitch 50 innings in a single season.

In addition to the historical component, Ohtani also compiled a 3.8 WAR, according to FanGraphs, the highest among the AL Rookie of the Year Award finalists. He's already taken home the Rookie of the Year honors distributed by Baseball America and Baseball Digest, which could serve as precursors to the BBWAA's iteration of the award.

-- Maria Guardado

Gleyber Torres, Yankees

Widely celebrated as one of the game's most promising prospects, the 21-year-old Torres earned a selection as an AL All-Star in his rookie season, when he batted .271 with 24 home runs and 77 RBIs in 123 games.

Torres ranked second among Major League rookies in RBIs and fourth in home runs, including seven homers that came with two men on base. He is one of nine rookies in franchise history to hit 20 homers in a season, joining (2016), ('17) and Andujar ('18) in having achieved the feat over the past three seasons.

Torres has already earned a spot alongside some of the bold-faced names in franchise lore; he owns the third-most career homers by a Yankee prior to his 22nd birthday, trailing only Mickey Mantle (57) and Joe DiMaggio (29). The Yankees went 17-3 in the 20 games he started at second base immediately following his recall from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He made his Major League debut on April 22, and he was named the AL's Rookie of the Month for May.

-- Bryan Hoch