You could certainly make a case that his 2022 has been even better if we combine his performance as a pitcher and as a hitter.
He is slashing .275/.357/.524 with 34 round-trippers and a .882 OPS, but he has been a beast from the mound.
As a pitcher, Ohtani has been one of the best in the junior circuit, with an extraordinary 2.35 ERA in 161 frames and a career-high 213 strikeouts.
In fact, you could very well make a case for him as a Cy Young candidate, in addition to competing for his second straight MVP award.
Ohtani’s excellent performance is already yielding results in the form of future commitments (the Angels gave him $30 million to play his last arbitration-eligible season in 2023) and awards.
“More hardware for his collection. Tonight, we honored Shohei Ohtani with our team MVP and Nick Adenhart (Pitcher of the Year) awards, as voted on by his teammates!” the Angels tweeted.
More hardware for his collection 🏆
Tonight, we honored Shohei Ohtani with our team MVP and Nick Adenhart (Pitcher of the Year) awards, as voted on by his teammates! pic.twitter.com/r3jypoCKAA
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) October 2, 2022
The Angels’ Best Player
Sure, those are internal awards, but those count, too.
It’s not easy to be the best performer on a team that has 30-40 players giving their all for the whole season.
The only player competing with Ohtani for the team’s MVP was Mike Trout.
Despite being absolutely brilliant and hitting 39 home runs, Trout lost some time to injury and his impact can’t measure up to that of Ohtani, not this year at least.
The biggest question is if Ohtani can earn his second consecutive AL MVP.
There is a guy named Aaron Judge who will likely prevent it, but the Japanese phenom will surely earn a lot of votes, too.