Shohei Ohtani, the AL MVP, is still the best two-way player in baseball.


Shohei Ohtani, the AL MVP, is still the best two-way player in baseball.

There’s no reason to keep arguing who will be the American League MVP in 2021.

There’s no need to overcomplicate things, and there’s no need to act as if a late-season push will make a difference.

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels is the American League MVP, and make no mistake, if Major League Baseball had an NFL-style MVP, Ohtani would be it.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is having a fantastic season, one that could go down in history. Guerrero has the best hitting average (.315) and OPS (1.011) in the American League, as well as the most runs (114), hits (171), and home runs (45) in the majors, as of Sept. 15. With 103 RBIs, he’s tied for third in the majors and may become only the 13th player in major-league history to win the Triple Crown, and the first since Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

When you consider Guerrero’s importance to the Toronto Blue Jays’ unexpected postseason run, his case gets stronger. In September, the first baseman hit.339/.391/.644 and led the Blue Jays to 15 wins in their last 18 games, bringing them from 612 games out of a wild-card berth to a virtual tie with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in under three weeks.

In most years, that would be enough to win the MVP award.

But 2021 isn’t like most years, and Ohtani’s worth is immeasurable, despite the fact that the numbers community has tried. His wins-above-replacement rating is 7.7, nearly a full point ahead of second-place Zack Wheeler’s 6.9. He’s tied for ninth in the majors with 23 stolen bases and is only one home run behind Guerrero with 44.

Let’s not forget that Ohtani is also the Angels’ staff ace pitcher, and he continues to dominate anytime he takes the mound. In 21 starts, Ohtani is 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 1151/3 innings. He hasn’t tossed enough innings to lead the AL in ERA, but he’d be fourth among pitchers who have made at least 20 starts.

Sure, the Angels are only 70-74 and in fourth place in the American League West. But Ohtani’s unique skill extends beyond baseball, enhancing his worth to the sport beyond his on-field accomplishments.

In four years, he was the first baseball figure. This is a condensed version of the information.


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