The Major League Baseball awards continued Thursday night with the announcement of the MVPs for both leagues. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani won MVP in the American League and Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. won for the National League. Both players won MVP unanimously.
Ohtani is the first player to be named MVP unanimously twice, as he did it in 2021. This is the seventh time that an Angels player has been named MVP. The Angels pitcher hit .304, led the American League in homeruns with 44, had 20 stolen bases, and led the majors in OPS(1.066). In 23 starts as a pitcher he was 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts.
"Obviously I wanted to win it last year, but [Aaon] Judge had a spectacular season and, deservedly so, he won it," Ohtani, speaking through an interpreter, told MLB Network shortly after Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson announced him as the AL MVP. "So I wanted to come back stronger and try to win it this year, and I know my rivals, Semien, Seager, they had great seasons, and congrats to them for winning the World Series. I think it's awesome. My goal was to try to come out on top, and this kind of pays off all my hard work."
Acuna is the eighth Braves player to win MVP and the first since Freddie Freeman in 2020. He is the third Venezuelan player to win, joining Miguel Cabrera and Jose Altuve. The right fielder hit .337, which was the second best batting average in the majors, behind Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez who hit .354. Acuna had 41 home runs, 73 stolen bases which led the National League, and led the National League in on-base percentage (.416), OPS (1.012), hits (217), and runs scored (149).
“It’s extremely exciting,” Acuña said with Hall of Famer and MLB Network analyst Pedro Martínez acting as interpreter. “I’m having a hard time explaining it, but I’m really privileged to be in the clubhouse with my family present, my teammates and everything else going on. I’m extremely happy to have this opportunity.”
Winning the MVP means that Acuna is now a star. He will try to have an even better year next year. Ohtani is a free agent and lots of teams will want him as he’s one of the best players in the game.