The Angels' two biggest stars are up for two major awards.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced Monday that center fielder Michael Trout and two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani are finalists for the American League Most Valuable Player and the Rookie of the Year honors, respectively.
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Trout, a two-time AL MVP winner, is up against the Red Sox's Mookie Betts and the Indians' Jose Ramirez. Ohtani will be challenged by a pair of Yankees, Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres.
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Trout, 27, has now finished in the top three in MVP balloting in six out of his seven full seasons with the Angels. He slipped to fourth place last season after suffering a thumb injury that forced him to miss nearly seven weeks. In 2018, Trout enjoyed what he considers to be his best overall season to date, batting .312 with an MLB-high 1.088 OPS, 39 home runs, 79 RBIs and 24 stolen bases in 140 games.
His 9.8 WAR, according to FanGraphs, ranked second in the Majors, behind only Betts, who is likely the MVP favorite after hitting .346 with a 1.078 OPS, 32 home runs, 80 RBIs and 30 stolen bases for the World Series champion Red Sox.
Ohtani's inclusion among the ROY finalists had long been expected, as the 24-year-old authored one of the most remarkable freshman campaigns in recent memory after making a successful transition from his native Japan. For the first two months of the season, Ohtani dazzled as both a right-handed pitcher and a left-handed slugger, though his two-way endeavor was derailed by a torn ulnar collateral ligament that led to Tommy John surgery last month.
Prior to the elbow injury, Ohtani posted a 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts over 51 2/3 innings over 10 pitching appearances. He was equally impressive at the plate, batting .285 with a .925 OPS, 22 home runs, 61 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 367 plate appearances. Ohtani joined Babe Ruth as the only players in MLB history to hit 15 home runs and pitch 50 innings in a single season.
Ohtani's chief competition will likely come from Andujar, who hit .297 with an .855 OPS, 27 home runs and 92 RBIs over 606 plate appearances for the Yankees.
The Rookie of the Year Award will be presented on Monday, Nov. 12, followed by the MVP Award on Thursday, Nov. 15.