Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani had not only an MVP-caliber season, but one of the greatest individual seasons of all time. His dominance at the plate and on the mound is something that most baseball fans have never seen, since the last time anything remotely comparable was done, it was Babe Ruth in the early 1900’s.
Now that the regular season is over, Ohtani will start being recognized for his accomplishments with a never-ending string of awards. It has already begun, as Ohtani has been named the 2021 Baseball Digest Player of the Year in near unanimous fashion.
Baseball Digest’s Player of the Year Award has been given out since 1969, and although it’s not an official MLB award, it has been scarily indicative of an eventual MVP winner. Of the 53 winners they’ve awarded prior to 2021, 37 have gone on to win MVP. This includes 14 of the last 15 winners.
This award is given out by a panel of 19 blue-ribbon voters. Some of them include, MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Matt Vasgersian, Alanna Rizzo, and Buck Showalter. The voters each give out a first, second, and third place, with first place votes counting for three points, second place for two points, and third place for one point.
Ohtani received 16 of 19 potential first place votes, scoring 50 points in total. Second place went to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays, who received 36 total points. Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals was the only other person to crack 10 points, getting 13.
Baseball Digest also gives out a Pitcher of the Year and Relief Pitcher of The Year Award. In a close race, L.A. Dodgers ace Max Scherzer took home the Pitcher of the Year Award, getting eight first-place votes and 38 total points. Corbin Burners was close behind with 27 total points.
As for the Relief Pitcher of the Year Award, Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader won in a landslide, getting 54 points. Liam Hendriks was the only one even remotely close with 26 points.
Ohtani a finalist for Hank Aaron Award
This is not the first award that Ohtani has already been named in association with. MLB announced the finalists for the annual Hank Aaron Award, which rewards the best offensive player of the year in the American and National League.
Ohtani was named one of seven AL Finalists, with the winner being announced during the World Series.