Shohei Ohtani Named 2018 American League Rookie of the Year

Angels' RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani today was named the 2018 Jackie Robinson American League Rookie of the Year in an announcement made Monday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).

November 12th, 2018

Angels RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani today was named the 2018 Jackie Robinson American League Rookie of the Year in an announcement made by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
The 24-year-old is the third player in Angels' history to earn the honor, joining Tim Salmon (1993) and Mike Trout (2012). He also becomes the fourth Japanese-born player to win a Rookie of the Year Award in the Major Leagues, joining Hideo Nomo (1995), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001).
Ohtani finished with 137 points in the balloting process, including 25 of 30 first place votes. He finished 48 points ahead of second place finisher Miguel Andujar of the New York Yankees (89 points).
"What Shohei did both on the mound and at the plate this season was just amazing to watch," Salmon said. "He wasn't just good, but great. He made the transition from pitching to hitting look seamless and we all know how difficult it is to be successful at just one aspect of the game. Congratulations to Shohei and we can't wait to see what the future holds in his career."

"I want to pass along my congratulations to Shohei for this special honor," Trout said. "It's great to see all of his hard work and effort recognized with this very prestigious award. All of us enjoyed playing along-side and watching Shohei excel as a two-way player and make history along the way. I have no doubt the best is yet to come!"

The Ōshū, Japan native finished his rookie season in the Majors with a .285 (93/326) batting average with 59 runs scored, 21 doubles, two triples, 22 home runs, 61 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He led all A.L. rookies (min. 300 PA) in OPS (.925), on-base percentage (.361), and slugging percentage (.564) and posted the best rates of at-bats per home run (14.82) and RBI (5.34).

Additionally, in his 10 starts as a pitcher, he went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA (51.2 IP - 19 ER) and his 63 strikeouts were the most by any pitcher in Angels history through his first 10 career starts. He allowed three-or-fewer runs in nine of 10 starts and held opponents to a .036 (2/55) batting average against his splitter.

Ohtani was named the American League Rookie of the Month in April and September and also received A.L. Rookie of the Week honors twice. He is the first player in Major League history to hit 15+ HR and compile 50+ pitching strikeouts in a season and joined Babe Ruth (1918 & 1919) as the only players since 1900 with 10+ HR and 4+ wins as a pitcher in a single campaign.

This season, he was the only player in the Majors to have multiple games of two home runs and a stolen base. Additionally, on Sept. 5 at Texas, Ohtani became the second rookie in A.L. history to record four hits, four runs, two HR and a stolen base in a single game, joining Craig Wilson who did so for the White Sox on Sept. 14, 1988 at Detroit.

Ohtani signed with the Angels as an international free agent on Dec. 9, 2017 following five seasons with the Nippon-Ham Fighters of the Japanese Pacific League.

The Rookie of the Year Award has been presented annually since 1947 and subsequently had its name changed to the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award in 1987, 40 years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier.