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Angels News: Shohei Ohtani Beat Out by Aaron Judge for AL MVP Award

Halos Today on FanNation logo Halos Today on FanNation 11/18/2022 Noah Camras
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Ohtani still put together one of the greatest seasons in MLB history, and that's worth celebrating.

Yankees OF Aaron Judge has officially won the 2022 American League Most Valuable Player Award, beating out Angels' two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani

It was an incredible season by two of baseball's best players, and both were deserving of the award. However, after breaking the AL single-season home run record, and finishing just shy of the Triple Crown, Judge came home victorious.

It took a record-breaking season from Judge to prevent Ohtani from winning a second consecutive MVP award, proving how special Ohtani truly is.

In 2022, following up a season in which he was named the 19th unanimous MVP in MLB history, Ohtani was somehow even better

As a hitter, Ohtani's numbers rivaled his 2021 season. He hit 34 home runs and 95 RBIs, compared to his 46 home runs and 100 RBIs in 2021. However, this year, Ohtani was better from the plate, hitting .273 instead of .257. And he struck out 28 fewer times despite having 49 more at-bats. In 2021, Ohtani won the Silver Slugger Award. In 2022, he finished as the runner-up in both the Utility and DH categories.

As a pitcher, Ohtani had a breakout season in 2022. Last year, he did more than enough to win the MVP award, going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP and a 3.52 FIP in 130.1 innings. This year, however, he turned into one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Ohtani went 15-9 with a dominant 2.33 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and a league-leading 11.87 strikeouts per nine innings. In some of the more advanced stat categories, he finished first in the AL with a 2.73 SIERA, 2nd in the AL with a 2.68 xERA and 2nd in the AL with a 2.40 FIP.

Ohtani finished fourth in the AL Cy Young race, but many believed he was snubbed as a top-three finisher.

Overall in 2022, Ohtani meant just about everything to this Angels team. At various points throughout the season, he single-handedly carried them to victory.

When the team was spiraling — losers of 14 in a row and without their recently let go manager Joe Maddon — it was Ohtani who threw seven innings of one-run baseball and hit the go-ahead two-run home run to will his team to victory and put an end to the losing streak.

In July, Ohtani did that a few more times. On June 29, Ohtani threw 5.2 shutout innings, struck out 11 and led the Angels to a 4-1 victory over the White Sox. After that, the Angels went on to lose their next four games. Then, on July 6, Ohtani ended the mini losing streak with a dominant performance on the mound. He threw seven shutout innings, struck out 10 and allowed just two hits. Oh, and he also hit the go-ahead two-run single in the 5th inning.

Then again, the Angels would go on to lose their next five games. But guess who was on the mound on July 13 when they ended that quick five-game losing streak. It was none other than Shohei Ohtani. And against the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros, Ohtani went six innings, allowed just one run, struck out 12 batters and went 2-4 from the plate with a single, a triple and two RBIs. 

If that isn't value, then I don't know what is.

It's hard to argue that Judge isn't deserving of the award. He was as dominant as anyone in baseball, and his 10.6 WAR proves it (Ohtani had a 9.6 WAR). But if you want to talk about doing things that have never been done before, Ohtani might have Judge beat.

In 2022, Ohtani became the first player in MLB history to qualify among the league leaders as both a pitcher and hitter.

In 2022, Ohtani became the first player in MLB history with 10 or more wins as a pitcher and 30 or more home runs as a batter in the same season. In 1918, Babe Ruth had 13 wins and 11 home runs. That's the only other season with 10 or more of each.

In 2022, Ohtani became the only player in MLB history to have games with eight or more RBIs as a batter and 13 or more strikeouts as a pitcher in the same season. He did this in back-to-back games in June.

In 2022, Ohtani became the first player in the World Series era to have 10 or more wins and steal 10 or more bases in the same season.

In 2022, Ohtani became the first starting pitcher since 1900 to bat twice in the top of the first inning before taking the mound.

In 2022, Ohtani became the first player in MLB history to throw the team's first pitch of the season as a pitcher, and face the team's first pitch of the season as a batter.

In 2022, Ohtani threw 31.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run and had an 18-game hitting streak. He took a perfect game into the 6th inning against the Astros in April. He carried a no-hitter into the 8th inning against the Athletics in September. He led the MLB with a home-to-first average time of 4.09 seconds, and he was the only starting pitcher in the American League with 40 or more pitches clocked at 100 MPH or faster. He was the epitome of 'doing it all' in the 2022 season.

We've never seen someone like Shohei Ohtani — and we may never again. He didn't win the MVP in 2022, but he still put together the greatest season in MLB history.

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