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Angels’ Two-Way Superstar Ohtani Wins More Postseason Hardware

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Shohei Ohtani. | Image from Orange County Register

Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way superstar and unanimous American League MVP in 2020, was awarded Male Athlete of the Year by The Associated Press after a season unlike many others in the sport’s history.

For the better part of a century, no one else had been a regular two-way player. Since Babe Ruth¬†starred on the mound and in the batter’s box in 1919 as a Boston Red Sox, no one has been both a top power hitter and a top starting pitcher in baseball.

“Ohtani is the MVP,” the Angels head coach Joe Maddon said last season. “It’s just his entire body of work. Everything is there regarding what he’s done as a position player, but then you have this other thing, this additive to include, that nobody even comes close to.”

In 126 games as the AL’s best-designated hitter, Ohtani hit 46 home runs, drove in 100 runs, and had a .965 OPS. In terms of home runs, he was third in the majors.

As the Angels’ stud and one of the American League’s top right-handed pitchers, Ohtani started 23 games and compiled a record 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 130 1/3 innings.

Midway through the 2021 baseball season, Ohtani started to garner the attention and admiration of his fellow professional ballplayers. In mid-May, Met’s right-hander Marcus Stroman called Ohtani “a mythical legend in human form.” Stroman tweeted, “What he’s doing is beyond incredible. Everyone in the big leagues is in awe of his talent. After games, I (will) be running to my phone to check and see what Ohtani did on the night!”

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