He’s the greatest of all time, but he’s only 19th? What’s going on, and who’s in front of him?
Major League Baseball’s dominant two-hit monster, Shohei Ohtani, 29, capped off the 2023 season by winning the regular season MVP award.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) announced the results of the 2023 Major League Baseball regular season MVP voting on Sunday.굿모닝토토 도메인
The American League was led by Ohtani. In the National League, Ronald Acuña Jr. (26-Atlanta Braves) was the unanimous MVP honoree for both leagues. This is the first time in Major League Baseball history that both league MVPs were unanimous.
All 30 first-place votes went to Ohtani, giving him a total of 420 points. Cory Seager, who finished second to Ohtani, received zero first-place votes, 24 second-place votes, and six third-place votes for a total of 264 points.
This isn’t Ohtani’s first unanimous MVP honor. Ohtani was also a unanimous choice in 2021, when he won his first MVP award, making him the first player to win unanimous MVP twice.
This year, Ohtani’s on-field performance was nothing short of baseball godlike. In 135 games as a hitter, Ohtani exploded for a .304 batting average, .412 slugging percentage, .654 on-base percentage, and 1.066 OPS with 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, and 20 doubles. Ohtani, who won his first American League home run title, dominated not only in home runs, but also in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and OPS.
His batting stats alone would be enough to win him MVP honors, but Ohtani is also a pitcher. In 23 starts this season, Ohtani has pitched 132 innings, going 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA. He struck out 167 batters. If it weren’t for an elbow injury at the end of the regular season, he would have been in contention for the Cy Young Award. This was Ohtani’s second straight year of double-digit home runs and wins, the first since Babe Ruth in 1918.
In short, it was the birth of an all-time MVP. So, where does Ohtani stand among all-time MVP winners?
MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, released a ranking of all-time MVP winners on the 18th. It was the “MVP of MVPs.
However, it wasn’t easy to find Ohtani’s name on the list. MLB.com’s No. 1 MVP of all time was Barry Bonds in 2001. Bonds made major league history by hitting a career-high 73 home runs. “73 home runs speaks for itself,” MLB.com said, explaining why they ranked Bonds’ 2001 season at the top.
Bonds also ranks third and fifth. Bonds’ legendary 2004, with its 232 walks, 120 intentional walks, and .609 slugging percentage, ranks third all-time, while Bonds’ 2002, with its unbelievable .370 batting average and .799 OPS, ranks fifth all-time.
Behind Bonds on the list is Bob Gibson in 1968. Gibson pitched a whopping 304⅔ innings, finishing with a 22-9 record and a 1.12 ERA. His 268 strikeouts and 0.853 walks allowed per inning (WHIP) both led the league. Mickey Mantle’s 52 home runs and 130 RBI in 1956 ranks fourth all-time.
He is followed by Willie Mays (52 homers, 112 RBI) in 1965, Aaron Judge (62 homers, 1.111 OPS) in 2022, Carl Yastrzemski (.326, 44 homers) in 1967, Stan Musial (.376, 131 RBI) in 1948, and Joe Morgan (batting . 327 67 stolen bases) is 10th, 1963’s Sandy Koufax (25-5, 1.88 ERA, 306 strikeouts) is 11th, 1957’s Mantle (.365 34 homers) is 12th, and 1954’s Mays (.345 41 homers) is 13th.
You won’t find Ohtani’s name on the list until #14, but his season was in 2021, not this year. In that season, Ohtani hit 46 home runs as a hitter and went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts as a pitcher. “Ohtani’s 2021 season was literally unprecedented,” MLB.com wrote.
Carl Ripken Jr. in 1991 (.324 with 34 homers and 114 RBIs) is ranked 15th, Mike Trout in 2016 (100 RBIs and 123 runs scored) is 16th, Jimmy Foxx in 1932 (58 homers and 169 RBIs) is 17th, and Ted Williams in 1946 (.497 with 123 RBIs) is 18th.
Ohtani’s 2023 season was ranked 19th. “It’s strange to compare Ohtani’s season to anyone else’s because no one else has ever done what he did,” MLB.com wrote, “but because Ohtani didn’t play much in the final month, we ranked him a little lower than 2021, when he won his first MVP award.”
Of course, 19th place is a huge accomplishment. Behind Ohtani in 2023 is a long list of legends, including Robin Yount in 1982, Jackie Robinson in 1949, Albert Pujols in 2009, Alex Rodriguez in 2007, Ted Williams in 1949, Bryce Harper in 2015, Acuña Jr. in 2023, and Rickey Henderson in 1990.
While Ohtani’s 2023 season was hailed as “epic” and he had to settle for a 19th-place finish, his treatment in free agency has been heralded as a “perfect storm.
Ohtani is a free agent now. Ohtani, who played for the Los Angeles Angels until this year, exercised his free agency rights for the first time in his career and is on pace to become the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball history. Until now, the record was held by Ohtani’s former teammate, Trout. Trout signed a 12-year, $426.5 million deal with the Angels. The “$500 million contract” talk is already starting to get old for Ohtani. Even with Tommy John surgery that will keep him from pitching next year, Ohtani’s value is skyrocketing. The home run king’s batting prowess alone is worth a lot of money.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the deepest pockets in the game, are the most likely destination for Ohtani, according to local media. Ohtani prefers to play for a team with a high chance of winning, and the Dodgers have a history of making the postseason every year. After winning the World Series in 2020, the Dodgers have challenged for a World Series title every year since, but have failed to even make it to the World Series, let alone win it. This year, they won the National League West and breezed through the postseason, but were shockingly swept in the Division Series by the Arizona Diamondbacks in three games.
The Dodgers need something to spark their top-flight offense. Ohtani could be just the ticket for the Dodgers. It will be interesting to see what Ohtani decides to do.