Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani was named unanimous American League Most Valuable Player for the second time in three years on Thursday.
Ohtani received all 30 first-place votes and is the first player in major league history to win the award unanimously on more than one occasion.
Ohtani’s 420 points easily outdistanced World Series champion Texas Rangers teammates Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, who finished second and third, respectively, in balloting by 30 Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters.
Seager got 24 second-place votes while garnering 264 points. Semien had 216 points and received five votes for second.
“My rivals Semien and Seager had great seasons — congrats to them for winning the World Series — but my goal was to come out on top and it all paid off, all my hard work,” Ohtani said through Angels interpreter Ippei Mizuhara on the MLB Network broadcast.
Ohtani is the second Japanese-born winner of the award, joining Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners in 2001.
Ohtani joins Mike Trout as the only Angels to win multiple MVP awards. Trout is a three-time winner (2014, 2016, 2019).
Ohtani, 29, batted .304 with an AL-leading 44 homers with 95 RBIs in 135 games. He led the AL with a .412 on-base percentage and led the majors with a .654 slugging percentage.
As a pitcher, Ohtani went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and recorded 167 strikeouts over 132 innings (23 starts). He limited opposing batters to a .184 average.
Ohtani’s pitching efforts ended after he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Aug. 23. He continued playing as a batter until sustaining an oblique injury on Sept. 3.
Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-September for the second time. He also had the procedure in the fall of 2018.
“It’s going really great so far,” Ohtani said of the elbow rehabilitation. “I feel like it feels better and faster than the first time I had the surgery. And at the same time I can’t rush. I have to take everything slow. My plan is to come back strong next year.”
Ohtani is slated to become a free agent and expectations are that he will land the richest contract in baseball history due to being a two-way player in the prime of his career.
Ohtani is the 16th player to win AL MVP honors multiple times. He also was runner-up to Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees in 2022.
Other Angels to win the MVP award are Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero (2004).
Seager was second in the AL in batting average at .327 and had 33 homers, 96 RBIs and 42 doubles in just 119 games. He was named World Series MVP when the Rangers ousted the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games but postseason play isn’t considered in MVP balloting.
Semien had 29 homers and 100 RBIs while playing in all 162 regular-season games. He batted .276 and led the AL with 122 runs and 185 hits.
Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez placed fourth in the balloting with 197 points. Kyle Tucker of the Houston Astros finished fifth with 178 points. Tucker received the other second-place vote.
–Field Level Media
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