Shohei Ohtani unanimously voted 2023 AL MVP

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Shohei Ohtani was unanimously voted the American League MVP for the second time in three seasons.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — For the first time in MLB history, Shohei Ohtani has been unanimously voted the Most Valuable Player of the American League, twice.

Ohtani, 29, earned his second MVP award since 2021 after attaining all 30 votes from the BBWAA voters. He also becomes the third foreign-born player to win the award multiple times joining Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera.

Ohtani received 30 first place votes followed by the Texas Rangers middle infield duo of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien finished second and third in succession, with 24 second-place votes and five second-place votes, respectively.

Although many eyes were on Ohtani at first, his beagle and their reaction after winning the award is probably the best thing you’ll see today.

Ohtani, the hitter, led the American League in home runs (44), total bases (325), extra-base hits (78), slugging percentage (.654), on-base percentage (.412), and OPS (1.066), while finishing in the top of five in triples (8), runs scored (102), walks (91), and batting average (.304). He became the third players in Angels franchise history with multiple 40+ home run seasons, joining Troy Glaus (2000, 2001), and Mike Trout (2015, 2019, 2022), and second Angels player to lead the American League in home runs joining Glaus (2000). For the third consecutive season, he was the only player across the Majors to hit 6-or-more triples with 34-or-more home runs.

Ohtani, the pitcher, led the Majors in opponent batting averages (.184), while finishing top five in the American League in strikeouts-per-nine innings (11.4), whiff rate (30.9%), ERA (3.14), WHIP (1.06), and strikeouts (167) (all statistics among pitchers with a minimum of 130 innings pitched). He threw his first complete game and shutout on July 27 in Detroit in the first game of a doubleheader, while hitting two home runs in the second game of the doubleheader to become the first player in MLB history to achieve both feats during a doubleheader. He finished the year with a 20 2/3 innings scoreless streak.

Ohtani, the two-way player, hit .372 with seven home runs in games in which he pitched, with his home run total ranking second all-time for players who pitched and hit in the same game, trailing Wes Ferrell who hit nine home runs with Cleveland in 1931 in games where he both hit and pitch. On three separate occasions, he finished a hit shy of hitting for the cycle in games where he served as the starting pitcher. He became the first American League player since 1963 to hit multiple home runs and strikeout 10 batters in the same game on June 27 against the White Sox.

Regularly, and at times unfairly, compared to Babe Ruth for his two-way prowess as both a hitter and pitcher, Ohtani achieved something Ruth never did, in earning multiple MVP honors, with Ruth only being named MVP in 1923 (caveat: MVP honors were not awarded from 1915-1921, or 1930; Ruth’s playing career spanned from 1914-1935). Ohtani and Ruth are the only players in Major League Baseball history with 10+ wins and 10+ home runs in a single-season, with Ohtani being the only of the two to have 10+ wins and 30+ home runs in a season, which he has done in consecutive seasons.

Ohtani was selected to his third consecutive All-Star Game this summer as both a position player and pitcher, leading the van vote in the initial voting stages. He is the only player in MLB history to be selected as an All-Star as both. Following the season, he was named a Silver Slugger Award winner, his second time earning the honor and making him the seventh player to win multiple Silver Slugger Awards as a designated hitter.

Ohtani’s MVP season was cut short following his second Tommy John surgery since 2018 in September, which means he won’t pitch again until 2025.

Despite the injury, Ohtani remains one of is not the most sought after free agent in the MLB and with the Winter Meetings less than a month away, the first two-time unanimous AL MVP will likely suit up for another team next season.

The Sporting Tribune’s Taylor Blake Ward contributed to this story.