Shohei Ohtani Wins 2023 Hank Aaron Award
Shohei Ohtani
Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani won the 2023 Hank Aaron Award in the American League to cap off his final season with the Los Angeles Angels with another bit of hardware. Atlanta Braves All-Star Ronald Acuña Jr. won in the National League.

The Hank Aaron Awards recognize the most outstanding offensive performer in each League. Each team nominates players to be considered, and a panel of writers determined nine finalists in each league from the list of nominees.

Results from fan voting is added to the votes of a special panel of Hall of Fame players and former recipients to determine the annual winners of the award. The panel includes Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter (two-time Aaron Award winner), Chipper Jones, Pedro Martínez, Eddie Murray, David Ortiz (two-time winner), John Smoltz, Robin Yount and Albert Pujols.

Ohtani hit 44 home runs and tallied 95 RBI en route to his second AL MVP Award in three seasons, as well as his third consecutive Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.

The 29-year-old hit .304 with 102 runs scored, 26 doubles, eight triples and 20 stolen bases while leading the AL in on-base percentage (.412), slugging (.654) and OPS (1.066). Ohtani also had the AL lead in home runs, total bases (325) and extra-base hits (78).

In June, Ohtani joined Babe Ruth (seven games in 1921) and Barry Bonds (six games in 1997) as the only players in MLB history with an extra-base hit, walk and run scored in six straight games when he accomplished the feat from June 12-17. For a third straight season, Ohtani became the only player in the Majors with at least six triples and 34 home runs.

In addition, Ohtani joined Troy Glaus (47 homers in 2000) as the only Angels players in history to finish a season as the AL home run leader. The two-way star, who was selected to the All-Star Game as both a pitcher and position player for a third consecutive season, hit .372 with three doubles, two triples, seven homers and 15 RBI in his 23 games as a starting pitcher.

Together, Acuña and Ohtani became the first duo to win their respective league’s MVP Award in the same season after also winning the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year in the same year (2018). Overall, they were the seventh pair of MVP Award winners in a season to have previously won Rookie of the Year at any point.

Hank Aaron Award history

Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award are Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt (2022), Vladmir Guerrero Jr. and Bryce Harper (2021), José Abreu and Freddie Freeman (2020), Mike Trout and Christian Yelich (2019), J.D. Martinez and Christian Yelich (2018), Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Altuve (2017), Kris Bryant and David Ortiz (2016), Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper (2015), Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout (2014), Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt (2013).

The list of winners also includes Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012), José Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011), José Bautista and Joey Votto (2010), Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009), Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008), Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007), Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006), David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005), Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004), Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols (2003), Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds (2001-02), Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).

The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of his breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record. At that time it was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.

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