Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani was a featured part of the 2022 ESPYS in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday night. Celebrating accomplishments for the 2021 season, it was well-known that Ohtani’s name would be said at least once throughout the evening.
Ohtani’s 2021 campaign remains perhaps the greatest individual season by a player in MLB history. He slugged for a .965 OPS and hit 46 home runs while also dominating on the mound as a pitcher with a 3.18 ERA over 130.1 innings. In a number of ways, the 2021 MLB season belonged to Ohtani.
For the most part, the accolades regarding his performance from last season ended when the 2022 season began. Ohtani got off to a slow start as both a pitcher and batter, but has since heated up to re-enter his name in MVP talks. His .835 OPS is a sharp downturn from last year, but is still well above MLB averages.
Meanwhile, Ohtani has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, posting a 2.38 ERA, 0.989 WHIP, and 123 strikeouts in 87.0 innings. And all the while, he found himself on the receiving end of more honors for the historic 2021 campaign.
Ohtani received two awards at the 2022 ESPYS. The Angels superstar won best MLB Player, over nominees Bryce Harper (Phillies), Aaron Judge (Yankees), and 2021 World Series MVP Jorge Soler (Braves). He also took home Best Male Athlete, an award that spans over all of men’s sports. The other nominees were Aaron Rodgers (NFL), Curry (NBA) and Connor McDavid (NHL).
Ohtani was one of just four athletes to win two individual awards. The other three were Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky, skiier Eileen Gu, and NBA star Stephen Curry. Ledecky won the Best Athlete award for Women’s sports, as well as Best Olympian for Women’s sports.
Gu took home Best Athlete in the Women’s Action sports category and also won Best Breakthrough Athlete over nominees Ja Morant, Jonathan Taylor, and Trinity Rodman. Curry’s two awards were for Best NBA Player and Best Record-Breaking Performance when he passed Ray Allen for the NBA’s all-time three pointers made record.
If Ohtani continues his 2022 production in the second half of the season, it’s extremely likely he’ll find himself nominated once again at next year’s ESPYS. Hopefully, his elite production can soon lead to wins for the Angels.
Mike Trout named captain for Team USA at WBC
It was revealed at All-Star Game media availability that Angels star Mike Trout has agreed to represent the United States as the team captain for 2023’s World Baseball Classic. After opting out of the 2017 event — and having the 2021 version postponed to next year — Trout finally felt it was the right time to be a part of it.