Shohei Ohtani named 2021 American League MVP
ANAHEIM – Angels RHP / DH Shohei Ohtani was named the 2021 American League MVP today in an announcement made by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). This is the first career AL MVP award for Ohtani, who previously won the 2016 Most Valuable Player award in the Nippon Professional Baseball’s Pacific League.
Ohtani tallied all 30 first place votes for a total of 420 points in the voting process, 151 points ahead of second place Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays (269 points). Ohtani becomes the 19th unanimous BBWAA MVP Award recipient (11th in AL history) and the first since Bryce Harper won NL MVP honors in 2015. He becomes the second Japanese-born player to receive MVP honors in the major leagues, joining Ichiro Suzuki (2001). Moreover, he is only the third starting pitcher to win AL MVP in the past 50 years, after Roger Clemens (1986) and Justin Verlander (2011).
The 27-year-old wins the sixth Angels MVP award in franchise history, following Don Baylor (1979), Vladimir Guerrero (2004) and Mike Trout (2014, 2016 and 2019). The Angels are the first team to win four MVP awards in eight years since San Francisco claimed five consecutive wins with Jeff Kent (2000) and Barry Bonds (2001-04) and the first AL team since the Texas Rangers with Juan González ( 1996, 1998), Iván Rodriguez (1999) and Alex Rodriguez (2003).
As a hitter, Ohtani ranked in the American League Top 10 for trebles (8; 1st), extra base hits (80; 2nd), hits (.592; 2nd), OPS ( .965; 2nd), home runs (46; 3rd), goals (96; 3rd), total goals (318; Q4), stolen goals (26; 5th), OBP (.372; 5th) and runs scored ( 103; 8e). On the mound, he went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA (130.1 IP – 46 ER) and 156 strikeouts in 23 starts, while keeping his opponents at an average of 0.207 (98/473) . He led the Majors with a bWAR of 9.1 and became the first player in MLB history to record over 10 HRs as a batter and over 100 strikeouts as a pitcher during the same season.
This summer, Ohtani became the first MLB player to be selected for the All-Star game as both a pitcher and positioner and started the game as an AL starting pitcher and designated hitter. Additionally, he was named American League Player of the Month for the months of June and July, becoming the first player to win back-to-back AL Player of the Month awards since Josh Hamilton (April / May 2012).