Suzuki was the last Japanese player to win it 17 years ago, as Ohtani got things done with the bat and on the mound. The 24-year-old hit .285 with 22 home runs and a .564 slugging percentage that ranked fourth in the American League, but he was not eligible due to him not having enough plate appearances. He also made 10 starts and went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts over 51.2 innings. He joins Babe Ruth as the only players to hit 20 home runs and pitch at least 50 innings in the same season.
Ohtani did undergo Tommy John surgery the day after the regular season ended, which will have him as a full-time hitter in the 2019 season. He may not be ready for the start of the regular season, but he is still expected to see plenty of time as the team's designated hitter under their new manager, Brad Ausmus.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves got the Rookie of the Year Award, as Ronald Acuna Jr., won it over Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals and Walker Buehler of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Acuna earned 27 first-place votes and 144 points overall, while Soto had 89 points and two first-place votes, and Buehler finished with one first-place vote. The 20-year-old Acuna signed with the Braves as an international free agent out of Venezuela in 2014 and played at three different minor league levels until the 2017 season.
Acuna becomes the first Braves player to win the award since Craig Kimbrel won it in 2011, and the first position player for Atlanta to win it since Rafael Furcal in 2000. The young star hit .325 with 21 home runs in the minors, and .432 with four home runs in 16 Spring Training games, but still began the regular season at Triple-A. He was called up on April 25 and made his major league debut against the Cincinnati Reds, going 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
From there, Acuna went on to hit .322 with 19 home runs in 68 games in the second half of the season, helping the Braves make the Postseason. He also had eight leadoff home runs, which was the second-most by a rookie in MLB history. The young star had a 1.028 OPS after the All-Star break, which ranked third in the National League behind Christian Yelich and Justin Turner. To go with all of that, Acuna became the youngest player to homer in five consecutive games in August, which is when he won Rookie of the Month. His main competition had to be Soto, who won the award in June, July, and September, but the main award did not go his way.