Shohei Ohtani: A sensational two-way baseball star named the unanimous choice for MVP of the American League

Ohtani, 27, comes from a historic season that saw him star both on the mound and at the plate for the Los Angeles Angels, a feat that has raised comparisons to Babe Ruth’s Hall of Fame.

He is the second Japanese-born player to be voted MVP, following Ichiro Suzuki, who was voted the AL MVP in 2001 when he played for the Seattle Mariners.

As a starting pitcher, Ohtani made 23 appearances, winning nine games suffering two losses. The Japanese pitcher struck out 156 batters.

As a batsman, he crushed 46 home runs – second only after the 48 HRs hit by Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals and Vlad Guerrero of the Toronto Blue Jays – and drove 100 runs in 155 games. He also stole 26 bases.

Ohtani’s performance at the plate also makes him the first player in American League or National League history with at least 45 home runs, 25 stolen bases and five triples in a season.

Ohtani joins teammate Mike Trout as AL MVP. Trout, who missed most of the 2021 season with injuries, won the award in 2014, 2016 and 2019.

Trout congratulated Ohtani on his achievement. “There was something special about witnessing what you accomplished as a teammate,” Trout said wrote in a tweet. “You put together a season of your own.”

In Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida weighed in on Friday. “It’s an extraordinary achievement and as a Japanese citizen, I feel very proud,” he said.

Interviewed by the MLB network on Thursday, Ohtani thanked teammates, the Angels fans and his manager. He also secured credit for the doctor who performed Tommy John surgery on his elbow in 2018.
Ohtani was the 11th baseball player to be unanimously voted AL MVP after he was first named on the ballot by the 30 voters of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Toronto’s Guerrero came second, with 29 second-place votes and one for a third, the BBWAA said.
In the National League, the BBWAA announced Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper as the 2021 MVP.

Harper was named a first-round pick by 17 writers, and a second pick by nine more, sealing his win over Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals, who came second, and Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres, who came third.

Harper previously earned an NL MVP when he played for the Washington Nationals in 2015.


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