The 2023 season did not go as planned for the Los Angeles Angels. Despite an all-in effort, the Halos failed to secure a postseason berth for the eighth consecutive season and now face major questions this offseason, including the free agency of two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani.
Ohtani was perhaps the only bright side for the Angels this season, posting another historic campaign before separate UCL and oblique injuries prematurely ended his year. He was arguably the best hitter in the sport in 2023, while still having an incredible season on the mound, essentially flipping the type of elite production he had in 2022.
That production has earned him a spot as one of the three American League MVP finalists. Ohtani won the 2021 AL MVP award unanimously, and although that effort may not be repeated in 2023 due to his games missed, he is still widely seen as the favorite to take home his second piece of MVP hardware.
In 135 games at the plate, Ohtani slashed .304/.412/.654 with a 1.066 OPS. His on-base percentage, slugging and OPS all represented AL bests while the latter two were Major League bests. His 184 OPS+ was the best in baseball, signaling that his performance at the plate was 84% better than a replacement-level player.
He wasn’t as dominant on the mound, but still managed a season that most starters would be proud to have before undergoing his second Tommy John surgery. In 132 innings over 23 starts, Ohtani finished with a 3.14 ERA, a 1.061 WHIP and 167 strikeouts. He finished with a higher OPS at the plate than WHIP on the mound, the first time he’s accomplished this feat.
He led the AL with 44 home runs, finishing two shy of his career high from 2021.
Ohtani is nominated alongside a pair of Texas Rangers, shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien. Winners will be announced Nov. 16.
Full list of award finalists
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
Corey Seager, Texas Rangers
Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers
Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers
AL Cy Young
Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
Kevin Gausman, Toronto Blue Jays
Sonny Gray, Minnesota Twins
NL Cy Young
Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks
Blake Snell, San Diego Padres
Logan Webb, San Francisco Giants
AL Manager of the Year
Bruce Bochy, Texas Rangers
Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays
Brandon Hyde, Baltimore Orioles
NL Manager of the Year
Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers
Skip Schumaker, Miami Marlins
Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves
AL Rookie of the Year
Tanner Bibee, Cleveland Guardians
Triston Casas, Boston Red Sox
Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles
NL Rookie of the Year
Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks
James Outman, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kodai Senga, New York Mets