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Shohei Ohtani is crowned first MLB Home Run Champion from Japan

Following the end of the MLB regular season, Shohei Ohtani has been crowned the first Japanese MLB home run champion. He secured this year’s title in the American League with 44 total home runs, reported The Japan Times.

“It’s quite an honor and I’m humbled when you think about the great players that have come before me that have played MLB from Japan,” Ohtani said in a released statement.

Ohtani is the first Japanese player in the league to have earned a batting title since Ichiro Suzuki, who led the entire league in batting average on the Seattle Mariners in 2004.

Ohtani’s earned the title despite a season-ending elbow injury on his pitching arm earlier in September, according to Nikkei Asia. He later underwent surgery and is hoping to only bat when he makes his return to the game.

During the season, he posted a .304 batting average, a .654 slugging average and 151 career hits.

On Saturday, Ohtani was named the Los Angeles Angels’ team MVP for the third consecutive season. He is also one of the favorites to win this year’s AL MVP award.

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