A week removed from MLB announcing all their awards, the most deserving was Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. The four players that were given votes included: Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Marcus Semien, and Aaron Judge. All of the players nominated for the award are tremendous players, however, Ohtani was able to run away with the award this season with great stats.
Ohtani was the first unanimous AL MVP award winner since his Angel teammate Mike Trout did it in 2014. He is the second Japanese-born player to win the award since Ichiro Suzuki won it in 2001 with the Seattle Mariners. In an interview, Ohtani thanked all his teammates, the Angels fans, his manager, and gave a tremendous amount of credit to the doctors who conducted his Tommy John surgery in 2018.
The pinnacle of his MVP season was at All-Star weekend when the whole world was able to see his true talent. On the first night, he took part in the home run derby where he was launching balls out of the stadium. The next day he got the ball as the starting pitcher, where he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. He showed all season what made him such a special player throughout the year.
How Ohtani Won
Even though the Angels missed the playoffs again this year Ohtani redefined how the most valuable player. With his tremendous season, we saw Ohtani be a top-ten hitter along with being the Angels ace throughout the year. He led the league in WAR (wins-above-replacement) by almost two points across the whole MLB. In the 155 games, he played Ohtani recorded a .257 batting average with 46 home runs and 100 runs batted in. On the mound in his 23 starts he posted a nine and two record with a 3.18 earned run average. He also had 156 strikeouts compared to 44 walks making him one of the dynamic pitchers in the league.
The other players that received votes such as Semien and Guerrero Jr. made valid runs at the MVP race due to their success towards the end of the season. Both players helped the Blue Jays get in the middle of the American League wild card. However, what Ohtani was able to achieve this season statistically was more monumental to the game of baseball making him the worthiest winner of the MVP this season.
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