Shohei Ohtani wins AL MVP, becoming the first player to win twice in a row with a unanimous vote

Shohei Ohtani wins AL MVP, becoming the first player to win twice in a row with a unanimous vote

The majority of the year, Shohei Ohtani appeared to be his most powerful competition. He would go on to earn his second American League most valuable player title despite a season that was disrupted by injuries that compromised his two-way talents.

“I think the balance of pitching and hitting was really good,” Ohtani said in Japanese on MLB Network’s broadcast Thursday. “I think I was able to do that at a higher level. I wasn’t able to play until the end, and I think that might be my only regret.”

The Baseball Writers Association of America unanimously chose Ohtani to receive the award. Mats Semien and Corey Seager, colleagues on the Texas Rangers, came in third and second, respectively, in the voting.

Ohtani finished second in 2022 and won his first MVP award in 2021. He is the first player in MLB history to win MVP honours twice in a row. Ohtani’s most recent honour wraps up a season that saw him win his second Silver Slugger, be named the AL’s Outstanding Player, and win the Players Choice award.

Three-time AL MVP Mike Trout of the Angels tweeted on Thursday, “Congrats on an epic year and well deserved MVP.” “Proud of you, brother!”

During his 2023 season with the Angels, Ohtani kept pushing boundaries on what baseball players are capable of and testing the limits of his own body.

His incredible efforts peaked in a July doubleheader in Detroit against the Tigers, where he hit two home runs in the second game and pitched his first shutout. Most sportsbooks eliminated the AL MVP odds by August 21; at that point, Ohtani was the clear favourite to win the trophy. Before the season ended, Ohtani’s teammates and former manager Phil Nevin had all agreed that he was the MVP.

In 23 starts (132 innings pitched), Ohtani finished with a 10-5 record, 3.14 earned run average, a.184 opponent batting average, and 167 strikeouts. One earned run or less was surrendered in 13 of those starts.

Ohtani had the best batting average against in MLB going into his final start of the season. He was also ranked in the top 10 of the AL in seven different categories, including wins (eighth), ERA (third), WHIP (1.06, fourth), whiff rate (30.9%, second), and strikeouts per nine innings (11.39, second).

Ohtani led the majors in slugging % (.654) and on-base-plus-slugging percentage (1.066) at the plate in addition to leading the American League with 44 home runs, a.412 on-base percentage, and 78 extra-base hits. He also took twenty bases. Ohtani became the first player to 40 home runs in a season.

Additionally, he concluded the season as the clear leader in wins above replacement (10.1), coming just one hit short of a cycle in three games in which he started as the starter.

Looking at the data, Ohtani is the only big league player who has hit six or more triples and 34 home runs in three different seasons. Babe Ruth had one such season in 1918. He is also the only athlete to record 10 or more pitching victories and smash 10 or more home runs in subsequent seasons.

Ohtani, a free agent, will recover from his second Tommy John surgery for the remainder of the summer. Ohtani’s surgeon, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who conducted his initial Tommy John surgery in 2018, stated that Ohtani would be eligible to pitch in 2025 and return as a designated hitter at the beginning of the 2024 season.

“My injury is gradually [improving],” Ohtani said. “I feel like it’s progressing more smoothly than last time. I think I can go into next season smoothly. I don’t want to panic. I feel like I want to be ready to play by next season.”

Following the awards show, Ohtani was supposed to address the media by teleconference. However, with just three minutes left in his scheduled thirty-minute session, Ohtani notified the callers that he would not be joining due to “circumstances beyond Ohtani’s control.”

While joining the MLB Network broadcast, Ohtani has not answered questions from the majority of the media since August 9.

Topics #AL MVP #American League #first player to win twice #Shohei Ohtani #unanimous vote

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