8.) Designated Hitter
While Shohei Ohtani’s Tommy John surgery certainly hurts the starting rotation, it solidifies a DH spot for 2019. Ohtani will be the team’s everyday designated hitter and makes the top of their lineup deadly. With Trout likely in front of him, Ohtani is set for an All Star year while he rehabs his pitching.
Everything that can be said about Ohtani has been. He will be the American League Rookie of the Year when all is said and done. Ohtani got 326 at-bats in 2017, and if he had played a full season his projection would have been unbelievable.
Like, 40 home runs, 120 RBI’s, 40 doubles, and maybe even 20 stolen bases unbelievable. While a designated hitter will never win the MVP Award in today’s MLB, Ohtani’s potential offensive numbers would put him in the conversation.
Outside of Ohtani, Albert Pujols will see games at DH, although he has said he hopes to play as many games at first base as possible. On Ohtani off days, Pujols will likely get a half day off and serve as the DH. While Pujols is not what Halo fans hoped for, he was an improved version compared to his 2017 version. Also worth noting is at designated hitter last year, Pujols slashed .263/.312/.478 in 47 games compared to .233/.274/.366 in 70 games at first base.
Ohtani’s exciting rookie year and Pujols’ knack for being able to drive in runs puts the designated hitter spot in great position for 2019.