Well, the votes are in. No real surprises here because Acuna deserved it, and Ohtani was covered in drool from every single baseball writer and won because he excelled on both sides of the ball, being hitting and pitching. I’m not even sure if that phrase works in baseball but fuck it. Anyways, let’s review these superior humans who are really good, and not to mention really young, at baseball.
National League Winner Ronald Acuna– Atlanta Braves:
Expectations were high for the 20-year-old Venezuelan who tore up three stops in the minor leagues last season. Fittingly, the baseball world put Acuna on a pedestal and gave him almost no room to breathe before he even took a major league at bat. Acuna scared the baseball world, Brave fans, and myself when he was sent down after Spring Training because of some dumbass rule where it has something to do with potential service time which in turn will save the organization a couple million a few years in the future. Anyways, he started the year off playing 23 games in Triple-A hitting only .211/.297/.267 with only one home run and five steals. This was supposed to the man who hit 28 home runs, 98 RBI’s, and stole 46 bases in the minor leagues last year and he started out like that.
Acuna had a plan. Get all of his shitty baseball out-of-the-way as soon as he could, AKA meaningless minor league baseball, so he could turn it up for the big stage. And that is just what Acuna did. Finishing the year batting .293/.366/.552 with 26 home runs, 64 RBI’s, 16 steals, 78 runs, finishing with a .917 OPS. Acuna ranked 1st among all rookies for second half stats that included:
- Home runs-19
- Average- .322
- Slugging- .625
Pure beauty. Have i mentioned that he also entered a lot of record books this past season? Just a few are:
- Youngest to hit a grand slam in post season history at 20 yrs and 293 days old.
- Youngest player since 1908 to hit a home run in five straight games.
- One of two players all-time to hit a lead off home run in three straight games.\
- Tied Braves franchise record with consecutive games with home run.
- No player in history 20 yrs or younger has hit a home run in seven of eight games.
There you have it. Receiving 27 out of 30 first place votes, I believe Acuna was more than deserving.
American League Winner Shohei Ohtani– Los Angeles Angels:
Just like Acuna, Ohtani had a lot to show the American world of baseball without even registering a major league at bat. I’ve talked about this before, I think it is not right that people put pressure on young men like this that are in their early 20’s and throwing them right into the spotlight without warning. Fortunately, Ohtani handled himself fantastic since he stepped foot in America so I won’t put any of the blame on Buster Olney or mush for brains Peter Gammons, yet. Ohtani obviously is a rare talent. Having the extraordinary ability to both excel at hitting and pitching. Through his 367 plate appearances, Ohtani finished the year hitting .285/.361/.564 with 22 home runs, 61 RBI’s and even chipped in 10 steals for good measure. On the bump, Ohtani started 10 games that evened out to 51.2 innings. Ohtani still was extremely effective through those 51.2 innings producing 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, while also producing 63 strike outs compared to his 22 walks.
Ohtani had a bit of a scare earlier in the season with forearm problems. Obviously, first thought is always the UCL ligament, which would ultimately result in Tommy John surgery. Luckily, where Ohtani is from, they produce some type of unknown and undetectable drug/stimulant/remedy that major league baseball cannot keep track of. Meaning, all he did was rest his elbow and BOOM! all better in like three months. Now, I’m not accusing him of cheating but I’m accusing his country of not letting the secret out. I have also been a firm believer on some Asians being way more intelligent and sneakier than anything the USA can provide. I really shouldn’t have to explain so i won’t. Mostly because I don’t want to die and let them know I know their damn secret, so I’ll stay quiet. I will say this though, Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees, is from the same country, Japan, not the same island but I assume they are extremely close. If you can remember, Tanaka a few years ago had the same exact problem. He said he would rehab it and give it rest. Which he did, only three months worth. Just like his fellow native Ohtani. Coincidence? maybe. I’m just a normal guy connecting the dots for the rest of the world to realize what’s going on outside of the great United States of America.
So Ohtani ended up with 25 of the 30 first place votes and maybe the award should have been given to Miguel Andujar, after he played in 149 games, hit .297/.328/.527 with 27 home runs, 97 RBI’s, all while breaking the rookie doubles record with 47 and helping lead the Yankees to the Playoffs. But no, he didn’t deserve that award at all.
P.S. Brady Anderson is the only player other than Acuna to hit more leadoff home runs in history. Look up his stats and look at the 1996 season. Baseball was going through a little performance enhancing problem around that same exact time. Not weird at all Brady Anderson hits randomly 50 bombs after hitting a career high of 21. Pure talent. No proof he did it though. Good for him.