Box-Toppers top-ranked rookies, Acuña, Ohtani, voted Rookies of the Year by baseball writers

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Box-Toppers top-ranked rookies, Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Braves and Shohei Ohtani of the Angels, were voted 2018 Rookies of the Year Monday.

Box-Toppers Rookie of the Year ballot

Here are Box-Toppers' ballot selections for the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) 2018 Rookie of the Year awards. The ballot required voters to pick the top three rookies in each league.
Players are shown with their team and their Box-Toppers point (BTP) total for 2018.

AL Rookie of the Year
Player Team BTP
1 Shohei Ohtani Angels 8.0
2 Mitch Garver Twins 7.5
3 Ronald Guzman Rangers 5.5
NL Rookie of the Year
Player Team BTP
1 Ronald Acuña Jr. Braves 9.2
2 Juan Soto Nationals 7.5
3 Walker Buehler Dodgers 15.1
Box-Toppers gives batters a generous, if somewhat arbitrary, benefit of the doubt in these rankings. In cases where batters are directly compared to pitchers, Box-Toppers ranks batters as if their season Box-Toppers point total were doubled. For example, in rankings for NL Rookie of the Year, Walker Buehler ranks first with 15.1 points, Ronald Acuña Jr. ranks second with 9.2 points and Juan Soto ranks third with 7.5. Though Acuña has fewer points than Buehler, Box-Toppers arbitrarily doubles batters point totals in figuring these rankings, which would give Acuña 18.4 points. Note: Box-Toppers submitted IBWAA ballot on Sept. 29 deadline, at which time Buehler had 13.1 points—he later earned 2.0 more points during the regular season.

The honors for the 2018 season were awarded Monday by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America also named both as top rookies for 2018 on Monday.

Acuna led National League rookies with 9.2 Box-Toppers points and also ranks fourth among NL batters and 58th among all players. He received 27 of the 30 first place votes from writers for top NL rookie.

Ohtani led American League rookies with 8.0 Box-Toppers points, earning 4.0 points as a starting pitcher and 4.0 points as a designated hitter. He is 80th among all players in Box-Toppers season player rankings. His 8.0 points ranks sixth among AL batters and 30th among AL pitchers. But if you separate Ohtani the hitter from Ohtani the pitcher, treating him as two different players, he would not be among the top rookies and he would rank 67th among AL pitchers and 60th among AL batters. Combining his two roles makes him top AL rookie. He earned 25 of the 30 first place votes from writers for top NL rookie.

Box-Toppers ranked Acuna ahead of Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler for NL Rookie of the Year, even though Buehler had more 2018 Box-Toppers points (15.1 vs. 9.2). That’s because the Rookie of the Year is normally a batter’s award, much like the Most Valuable Player. In cases like this, we give batters the benefit of a doubt and rank them ahead of a pitcher with more Box-Toppers points if they have at least half the points earned by the top pitcher. In this case, Acuna did.

Buehler was Box-Toppers’ top rookie in 2018. His 15.1 Box-Toppers points ranked 16th among all players and sixth among NL pitchers.

Using the logic just described, given some more thought, perhaps Box-Toppers would not have ranked Ohtani top rookie, discounting the points he earned as pitcher and instead would have voted for the next-highest ranked AL rookie, Twins catcher Mitch Garver, who had 7.5 Box-Toppers points, 102nd among all players and eighth among AL batters. Garver received no votes for AL Rookie of the Year.

The rookie earning the most Box-Toppers points who did not receive any votes from writers for Rookie of the Year honors is Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta, who earned 8.7 Box-Toppers points, 67th among all players, 30th among NL pitchers. 

Here’s a look at how other top rookies fared in the voting:

  • Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who had 13.1 Box-Toppers points and ranked 25th among all players, ninth among NL pitchers, finished fifth in NL rookie voting, earning two third-place votes.

  • Pitchers Domingo German of the Yankees and Lou Trivino of the Athletics each had 8.0 Box-Toppers points, which is tied with Ohtani for most points earned by an AL rookie in 2018. Ohtani gets the tiebreaker advantage since he earned half his points as a batter, putting German and Trivino just behind Ohtani in Box-Toppers season player rankings in a tie for 81st place (though some Box-Toppers listings will list all three together, ranking them in alphabetical order). Both German and Trivino are tied for 31st place among AL rookies in 2018 Box-Toppers points. Neither received votes for AL Rookie of the Year.

  • Juan Soto of the Nationals, who had 7.5 Box-Toppers points and ranked 103rd among all players, 13th among NL batters, finished second in NL rookie voting, appearing on all ballots, earning two first-place votes, 26 second-place votes and one third-place vote.

  • Rays pitcher Ryan Yarbrough, who had 7.0 Box-Toppers points and ranked 115th among all players, 42nd among AL pitchers, finished tied for fifth in AL rookie voting with one third-place vote.

  • Brian Anderson of the Marlins, who had 6.5 Box-Toppers points and ranked 129th among all players, 18th among NL batters, finished fourth in NL rookie voting with four third-place votes.

  • Ronald Guzman of the Rangers, who had 5.5 Box-Toppers points and ranked 172nd among all players, 28th among AL batters, received no votes as AL Rookie of the Year.

  • Miguel Andujar of the Yankees, who had 3.5 Box-Toppers points and ranked 300th among all players, 68th among AL batters, finished second in AL rookie voting with five first-place votes, 20 second-place votes and four third-place votes.

  • Gleyber Torres of the Yankees, who had 1.5 Box-Toppers points and ranked 540th among all players, 127th among AL batters, finished third in AL rookie voting with three second-place vote and 16 third-place votes.

Three players with just 1.0 Box-Toppers point earned Rookie of the Year votes:

  • Joey Wendle of the Rays, 620th among all players. He ranks higher than the other two because he earned Box-Toppers points in two previous seasons, even though he still had rookie status in 2018.

  • Cardinals pitcher Harrison Bader and Jeff McNeil of the Mets. Technically, both are in a 73-way tie for 672nd place in Box-Toppers season player rankings, along with all other players who earned 1.0 point, their first career point, in 2018. With ties at this level broken alphabetically, Bader ranks 673rd and McNeil ranks 709th.

Box-Toppers votes in the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) Rookie of the Year voting, which matched the placement of voting in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) vote.

Here are the IBWAA results:

AL Rookie

  • 1st—Shohei Ohtani, Angels, 451 points

  • 2nd—Miguel Andujar, Yankees, 375 

  • 3rd—Gleyber Torres, Yankees, 176

NL Rookie

  • 1st—Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves, 570 points

  • 2nd—Juan Soto, Nationals, 378

  • 3rd—Walker Buehler, Dodgers, 77

This year, I became a member of the IBWAA and, using the Box-Toppers statistics shared here, I voted for Ohtani and Acuna as Rookies of the Year. 

The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.

About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

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American League Rookie of the Year voting

Shohei Ohtani of the Angels was voted AL Rookie of the Year. He also led AL rookies in Box-Toppers points. Here is the order of finish for the AL rookie award. Also shown are the votes each player received from baseball writers for first, second and third place, plus their overall voting point totals. Also shown are each player’s Box-Toppers point (BTP) total for 2018 and their overall rank among all players.

AL rookies Team Pos 1st 2nd 3rd Points BTP Rank
1 Shohei Ohtani Angels pi sp dh 25 4 137 8.0 80
2 Miguel Andujar Yankees 3b 5 20 4 89 3.5 300
3 Gleyber Torres Yankees 2b 3 16 25 1.5 540
4 Joey Wendle Rays 2b 3 8 17 1.0 620
5 Daniel Palka White Sox dh rf 1 1 4.5 236
5 Ryan Yarbrough Rays pi mr 1 1 7.0 115
*Domingo German Yankees pi sp 8.0 81
*Lou Trivino Athletics pi mr cp 8.0 81
*Mitch Garver Twins ca 7.5 102
*Ronald Guzman Rangers 1b 5.5 172
BTP: Box-Toppers points
* These players had the most Box-Toppers points among AL rookies who did not receive AL Rookie of the Year votes.

National League Rookie of the Year voting

Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Braves was voted NL Rookie of the Year. Here is the order of finish for the NL rookie award. Also shown are the votes each player received from baseball writers for first, second and third place, plus their overall voting point totals. Also shown are each player’s Box-Toppers point (BTP) total for 2018 and their overall rank among all players.

NL rookies Team Pos 1st 2nd 3rd Points BTP Rank
1 Ronald Acuña Jr. Braves lf 27 3 144 9.2 58
2 Juan Soto Nationals lf 2 26 1 89 7.5 103
3 Walker Buehler Dodgers pi sp 1 1 20 28 15.1 16
4 Brian Anderson Marlins rf 4 4 6.5 129
5 Jack Flaherty Cardinals pi sp 2 2 13.1 25
6 Harrison Bader Cardinals cf 1 1 1.0 673
6
Yoshihisa Hirano Diamondbacks pi mr cp 1 1 2.0 499
6
Jeff McNeil Mets 2b 1 1 1.0 709
*Freddy Peralta Brewers pi sp 8.7 67
BTP: Box-Toppers points
* Freddy Peralta of the Brewers had the most Box-Toppers points among NL rookies who did not receive NL Rookie of the Year votes.