Dodgers: Three players that can win LA’s third straight Rookie of the Year

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Alex Verdugo (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Alex Verdugo (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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3. RHP Shohei Otani

Okay, this one is a bit of a stretch. However, remember that part when I said that the Dodgers may look to free agency to fill the right-handed pitching void in their rotation? Look no further than Japanese superstar Shohei Otani.

Otani is a freak blend that we do not see in baseball anymore. Mirroring that of Babe Ruth, Otani is an electric pitcher that has the bat of a slugging outfielder. Although we have Madison Bumgarner and Zack Greinke, we do not have pitchers that can hit .322 in 382 plate appearances with 22 home runs.

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Otani is no slouch on the mound, either. In 2016 Otani threw 140.0 innings with a 2.12 ERA and 174 strikeouts. Thus, Otani becomes one of the most polarizing baseball names on the entire globe.

Of course, the hitting talent in the MLB may be better than that of Japan, but other Japanese stars such as Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka have thrived in the majors. Due to his electric bat, practical wisdom may put Otani in an American League ball club. However, as Jacob Rudner of DodgersWay put it, he is being brought as a pitcher with a good bat, not a batter with good pitching.

Andrew Friedman even acknowledged that the team would make it work if they signed Otani. Thus, the Dodgers could use him as a pitcher in the starting rotation every five days while also calling on him for key pinch-hitting duties.

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Otani already has immense hype around him. If he can even be decent at hitting while delivering on the mound he will run away with the award early. Thus, if the Dodgers sign him, they could haul in their third consecutive NL Rookie of the Year award.