2022 MLB Awards: Angels’ Shohei Ohtani Named Finalist For 2022 American League MVP
Shohei Ohtani
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The finalists for the four major end-of-season MLB awards were revealed on Monday. And next week, the winners of Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and Most Valuable Player in each league will be named. For the Los Angeles Angels, they have just one — highly expected — finalist in Shohei Ohtani.

Ohtani was named one of the three finalists for the American League MVP award, alongside Houston Astros slugger and World Series champion Yordan Alvarez and frontrunner Aaron Judge from the New York Yankees.

In 2021, Ohtani won the MVP award unanimously after putting on a dazzling two-way display. At the time, many called it one of the greatest individual seasons in MLB history. But Ohtani staked his claim that he would be even better in 2022.

And for those who value Ohtani’s pitching ahead of his hitting, he did improve. Although he saw his OPS decline from .965 to .875, his home runs from 46 to 34, and his RBIs from 100 to 95, he was a significantly better pitcher. So much so that he was receiving legitimate Cy Young buzz.

He pitched 35.2 more innings this season than last (166.0 from 130.1), but somehow improved his ERA from 3.18 to 2.33. His WHIP went from 1.090 to 1.012, and he led all of MLB in strikeouts per nine innings with 11.9, totaling 219 punch-outs on the year.

With all of the improvement from his unanimous 2021 MVP campaign, it would stand to reason that he’d be a shoo-in to repeat as the award’s winner. However, Judge put together one of the all-time great offensive campaigns in 2022, carrying a lackluster Yankees lineup to 99 wins.

Judge slashed .311/.425/.686, falling less than a half-percent shy in batting average of a Triple Crown. His OPS of 1.111 was by far the best in baseball, and his OPS+ of 211 suggested he was over 100% better than a replacement-level player.

But the icing on the cake for Judge was his 62 home runs, an American League record. He also led all of baseball with 131 RBIs and the AL with 111 walks.

Alvarez should hardly be forgotten about either. He’ll likely finish in third place, but he had a massively impressive fourth MLB campaign with the Astros. He slashed .306/.406/.613 for an OPS of 1.019, hitting 37 home runs and 97 RBIs.

The winner of the AL and NL MVP awards will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 3:00 p.m. PT on MLB Network. At the same time on the same channel, the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year awards will be announced on Monday, Nov. 14, the Manager of the Year on the following day, and Cy Young the day after that.

A full list of award finalists can be seen below.

BBWAA 2022 MLB Award Finalists

Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year

American League

Steven Kwan, Cleveland Guardians
Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners
Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles

National League

Brendan Donovan, St. Louis Cardinals
Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves
Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves

Manager of the Year

American League

Terry Francona, Cleveland Guardians
Brandon Hyde, Baltimore Orioles
Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners

National League

Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers
Buck Showalter, New York Mets
Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves

Cy Young

American League

Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox
Alek Manoah, Toronto Blue Jays
Justin Verlander, Houston Astros

National League

Sandy Alcantara, Miami Marlins
Max Fried, Atlanta Braves
Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers

Most Valuable Player

American League

Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

National League

Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals
Manny Machado, San Diego Padres

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