Shohei Ohtani shocked the world last season. Seemingly out of nowhere, the Los Angeles Angels star shocked the world by doing something almost-unheard of in MLB history: be an excellent starting pitcher as well as a hard-hitting slugger in the batter’s box. Ohtani’s exploits with the Angels rightfully earned him the American League’s MVP award.
A few days after winning the AL MVP in unanimous fashion (the first unanimous MVP since teammate Mike Trout in 2014), Shohei Ohtani took to Instagram to react to his historic achievement. Here’s the Angels star’s full statement:
“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to congratulate me on the AL MVP award. Your kind words and messages are greatly appreciated.”
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What Ohtani did in 2021 was truly unprecedent, something that the baseball world has never seen since the legendary Babe Ruth. As a starting pitcher for the Angels, the Japanese star compiled a 9 – 2 record with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 130 innings. That alone would be enough to put him in serious Cy Young talks, but what took him over the top was his prowess on offense.
Ohtani did all of his incredible pitching while also destroying opposing pitchers with his slugging ability. He was the Angels’ designated hitter for the entire season, compiling a .257 batting average and a .372 on-base percentage along with 46 home runs. That kind of dual-threat performance made it impossible for voters to ignore Ohtani’s presence.
Unfortunately, Ohtani’s heroics weren’t enough to drag the Angels back into playoff contention. They missed the 2021 postseason by a long shot, going 77 – 85 and finished fourth in the AL West. Shohei Ohtani and the Angels are surely looking towards 2022 as an opportunity to cut their 7-year streak of missing the playoffs.
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