Big Ben Whitney: Yankees Break the Long Ball Record, Andujar MVP over Ohtani

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BRONX, NJ – It was a satisfying final regular season weekend in Boston, as the New York Yankees locked up home field in the wildcard game, got to 100 wins, and broke the single season team HR record. Giancarlo Stanton got to 100 RBIs and Miguel Andujar broke Joe DiMaggio’s rookie doubles record. Even though they finished eight games out of first place, it was a stellar regular season for the Los Yankees. I’m wondering if Andujar did enough to win AL Rookie of the Year and if the HRs will keep coming in the post season.

Andujar is the ROY

Shohei Ohtani is a unique talent. He had a better OBP, Slugging, and OPS than Andujar. He drove in a run every 4.93 ABs, while Andujar drove in one every 6.22. If Ohtani produced at that pace for Andujar’s 573 ABs, he would have had 116 RBI, compared to 92 for Miggy. And on top of that he was a quality starting pitcher. He went 4-2 with a .331 ERA and 63 strike outs.

But did he do enough of either? He had 53.8% of the ABs of Andujar and he only had 10 starts and 51.2 innings on the season. For reference, trade deadline acquisition Lance Lynn threw 54 innings in 11 appearances for the Yankees. So the Angels basically got a bit more than half of as season of an excellent hitter and a deadline acquisition pitcher who logged only about a third of the starts of a regular starter in a full season, and only averaged about five innings per start.

Without 3rd stringer catcher Kyle Higashioka’s three HRs, the Yanks only would have tied the record

You know what they say, a Shohei of all trades, a master of none. If he wins the ROY, the votes will have been based on how unique it is to do what he did. But the net results are not impressive enough on a cumulative basis, in my opinion. His skills are off the charts, but he’s a bit of a dilemma to manage. It’d be ideal if you had two of them and could alternate them in the order while the other prepared for his start. I’m sure there’s another one around here somewhere.

Lots of Long Balls

You would have thought a home run record breaking season by the Yankees would include 50 or 60 from Aaron Judge and Stanton. But the cool thing about the record is that they had 12 players with at least 10 homers and six with at least 24.

Maybe Torres and Andujar will split the Yankee vote, and Ohtani will take it.

In spite of the long balls, the Red Sox scored 25 more runs than the Yanks. The Sox had a higher batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, as well as many more doubles and triples and 168 fewer strikeouts.

The Yankees are going to need some big flies to get past the A’s and make a playoff run. But they are sometimes hard to come by in the playoffs. The Red Sox offense keeps coming and they might have the better lineup. The Yankees have an advantage in the bullpen, which is crucial in October. I’m not looking past the plucky A’s, but it should be another epic battle if the two 100 win  ships do collide. Maybe Aaron Boone will put himself in.

Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, who probably threw for 400 yards on Sunday like everyone else. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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About the Author ()

Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.

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