MLB announced the MVP awards for 2021, and to no one’s surprise, Shohei Ohtani captured the top spot as he was unanimously elected to the AL award. Ohtani, the first legitimate two-way player since Babe Ruth, amassed a 9 bWAR season between the plate and the mound. While the narrative of being an offensive threat as well as pitching like a solid front of the rotation ace has dominated the media, the reality is that Ohtani was a tremendously productive player this year from both positions, even if he wasn’t specifically dominant in either.
Ohtani received all 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for MVP. He joins Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds, Bryce Harper, and teammate Mike Trout as the fifth unanimous MVP since 2000. Ohtani was typically understated when asked about his reaction and plans to celebrate from his home in Japan, saying “I don’t have any special plans, actually. I’m probably gonna spend a lonely night by myself at home.”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. earned 29 of the 30 second-place votes by the BBWAA, with the lone dissenter being a Kansas City reporter opting for Salvador Perez of the Royals. Marcus Semien received 24 third-place votes.
Bryce Harper won the MVP for the second time in the National League. Interestingly, they become just the ninth pair of MVPs since the award was established in 1931 to come from non-playoff teams and the first since George Bell (Blue Jays) and Andre Dawson (Cubs) in 1987.