The Los Angeles Angels are fortunate enough to have one of the most unique, talented, and highly regarded players in Shohei Ohtani, but unfortunately, he wasn’t able to overtake Aaron Judge to take home the 2022 Sporting News MLB Player of the Year Award.
Since 1936, The Sporting News has handed out Major League Baseball awards, and this year’s top hardware belongs to New York Yankees outfielder, Aaron Judge. The 30-year-old posted one of the greatest offensive seasons in MLB history and hit 62 home runs on his way to a record-book season.
Judge posted a 207 wRC+ in his free agent season and set himself up to see one of the richest contracts in all of MLB. He narrowly missed out on a Triple Crown, but led the league in runs, RBIs, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, and total bases.
In a survey of 360 players, Judge received 66 percent of the vote, ahead of Ohtani, who finished with 18 percent. Seven other players received at least one vote, but the final vote was clear in Judge’s court.
Ohtani went 15-9 in 28 starts this season, posting a 2.33 ERA, 2.40 FIP, and a 1.01 WHIP across 166 innings pitched. He elevated his work as a starting pitcher while continuing to pound the ball at the plate in which he slugged 34 home runs and 95 RBI with a .875 on-base plus slugging.
The race for the league’s Most Valuable Player award is set to be much more scrutinized, as MLB hasn’t seen a player like Ohtani since Babe Ruth, but in favor of Judge, we haven’t seen a hitter this dominant since Barry Bonds, who has questions of the validity of his statical accolades.
Shohei Ohtani & other Angels named Silver Slugger Finalists
It is officially award season. With only the World Series left to be played and 28 teams fully submerged into the offseason, MLB is taking the opportunity to recognize some of the best individual performances of the 2022 regular season.
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists have already been announced, with Los Angeles Angels utilityman Luis Rengifo and former outfielder, Brandon Marsh named among them. Now, it’s the Silver Slugger Award, recognizing the best offensive players at each position in the American and National League.
The Angels fared better in this category — despite being among the worst offenses in all of baseball — securing four finalists. Mike Trout, Taylor Ward, Ohtani, and again Rengifo are listed among those who made the final cut in Louisville Slugger’s selection process.