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Shohei Ohtani bests Miguel Andujar in AL ROY voting. No, seriously….

This is going to be an extremely biased piece on why Miguel Andujar was absolutely robbed of the American League Rookie of the Year.  However, let’s start off by saying that Shohei Ohtani is an absolute gem of a player.  He is an other-worldly athlete, with his triple digit fastball and smooth swing.  For a big guy, he’s surprisingly smooth in the field as well.

Now that we got that out of the way, it is an absolute travesty that Ohtani won the award over Miguel Andujar.  They have similar stats for sure.  Ohtani batted .285 with 22 home runs, 61 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.  Andujar batted .297 with 27 home runs and 92 RBIs.  The stats are very similar.  For all you crazy analytic guys out there, Ohtani had a better WAR at 3.9 opposed to 2.2 for Andujar.  Ohtani played some of the season with a partially torn UCL and was also still able to pitch 51 1/3 innings.  He was great as a pitcher also.  However, none of that matters because there are three very key reasons why Andujar should have won the American League Rookie of the Year.

He was the best hitter on a stacked team

Shohei Ohtani may have both hit and pitched, but Miguel Andujar was by far the most consistent hitter on a fantastic Yankee team.  Andujar never faltered the entire season, unlike his infield counterpart Gleyber Torres.  He was in the middle of the lineup the entire season and produced day in and day out.

Ohtani may have been near the middle of the lineup, and produced with good pop and a good stick, but he was never as reliable as Andujar throughout the season, and he most certainly was not the best hitter on his own team.  Not many people can say they’re better than Mike Trout anyway, but the fact that Miguel Andujar was the best hitter on a playoff team AS A ROOKIE speaks volumes to how good of a player he is.

His at bats were that of an All-Star veteran

Now I cannot say that I watched every Angels game.  In fact, there are probably very few people who can say that.  However, I watched every single Yankee game and I can tell you that even though a lot of what Andujar did didn’t show up in his stats, it was always important.  Whether it be cutting down on his swing with two strikes and smashing a double into the left field gap, or holding off a breaking curveball to work a walk, Andujar was a master at the craft of hitting.

Shohei Ohtani struck out 102 times in 326 plate appearances.  Miguel Andujar struck out 97 times in 606 plate appearances.  Miguel Andujar is a free swinger, but he struck out five less times than Ohtani in nearly twice the amount of plate appearances.  If that doesn’t scream All-Star, especially in this era of baseball, I don’t know what does.

His poor defense was exaggerated

Yes, Miguel Andujar is a poor fielder.  He had moments where he forgot how to throw to first base.  He had moments where he was in the exact opposite place than where he needed to be.  There were moments where he looked lost.  However, his defense wasn’t nearly as bad as people made it out to be.

He made 15 errors on the season, and at least four of them were plays that Greg Bird should have been charged for the error (he’s terrible at picking balls from the dirt).  Andujar never set his feet properly, but for as many bad plays as he had, he had nearly as many good plays.


At the end of the day, there were two reasons why Shohei Ohtani won the American League Rookie of the Year over Miguel Andujar.  The first is obviously the fact that Ohtani played two positions extremely well.  He is a very talented hitter and a very talented pitcher, regardless of how little he actually pitched during the season.  The second is that clearly Andujar’s reputation as a bad defensive third baseman hurt his chances to win Rookie of the Year, even though he is an absolute professional hitter.

It doesn’t matter.  Yankee fans know that Miguel Andujar is an absolute stud and will be the team’s third baseman for years to come.  They know that when the careers are compared between he and Shohei Ohtani, Andujar will come out on top.  And they most certainly know that even though Miguel Andujar cannot pitch or throw from third base so well, he will hit more doubles than just about anyone in the league.


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