Shohei Ohtani made a strong statement for Most Valuable Player consideration Wednesday night.
He became the first player in Major League history to hit 30 home runs and win at least 10 games as a pitcher. He’s won 11 so far, reported Reuters.
His three-run blast propelled the California Angels to a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees.
Ohtani’s name has been mentioned with the Yankee’s Aaron Judge who is considered the favorite to win the MVP.
Judge has slugged 51 home runs this season and boasts a .296 batting average.
Ohtani’s offensive production, while impressive, doesn’t quite compare to Judge’s season. Yet he is certain to get consideration for the rare feat of being a remarkable two-way player with the ability to both pitch and hit.
The Los Angeles Times reports he is also the only player in baseball history to have a 100 strike out, 30 home run season. He’s recorded 176 strikeouts this year. It’s the second time he’s accomplished it. The first was last year when he won MVP honors.
“Simply, I’m honored, happy, humbled to hear that,” Ohtani said. “I just want to stay healthy, not get hurt, finish strong.”
Ohtani is well aware that Judge is his biggest competition to win the MVP. Wednesday’s game gave fans and the media and opportunity to see them side by side.
“Definitely leads to motivation for me to do better, I mean trying to go for that hardware is something I think about. For the most part, I just take it game by game, at-bat by at-bat and at the end of the day, we’ll count it all up.”
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