Citing what it called a “singular, unprecedented season,” Baseball America named Shohei Ohtani Major League Baseball’s Player of the Year.
Ohtani became the first player in MLB history to hit more than 10 home runs as a hitter and strike out more than 100 as a pitcher.
The two way player hit 46 home runs, third best in the majors. He drove in 100 runs and scored 103. He won 9 games and lost only 3 as a pitcher giving up just 3.18 runs and striking out 10.8 hitters every nine innings.
“I’ll leave it up to the fans . . . and other people out there to decide if I met expectations, but I was really excited to get through this season without any injuries,” Ohtani said through an interpreter to Baseball America on the final day of the regular season. “Obviously I wish I could have done this, had a season like this, a little earlier. This is my fourth year, so I think it took a little too long.”
Ohtani endured numerous injuries in his first three years in the majors, but worked hard to overcome and have the season of his career in 2021.
“He knew that he was obviously much better than what his numbers showed,” his agent Nez Balelo said. “He was very committed to be able to say, ‘I’m going to erase 2020 and watch: I’m going to come back in 2021 with a vengeance.’
Perhaps the award is a sign of more good things to come. Fansided reports Ohtani will run away with the American League Most Valuable Player of the Year award.
Earlier this month, Baseball Digest named him its Player of the Year, according to MLB.com. Ohtani took 16 first place votes from 19 baseball writers, broadcasters and former players.
His two way performance hasn’t been seen since the days of legendary Babe Ruth.
“He does it in a way with joy about the game that I think hides how difficult it actually is,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “He actually hides the degree of difficulty by the way he goes about his work. Please don’t be deceived by that. Don’t buy the snake oil.”
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