Shohei Ohtani Shadows Records Held by Previous MVPs as Superb MLB Form Continues

Published 09/30/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
DENVER, COLORADO – JULY 13: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts in the first inning during the 91st MLB All-Star Game at Coors Field on July 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)


Since joining the Los Angeles Angels in 2018, Shohei Ohtani has seen a mercurial rise in the MLB. From being the American League’s Rookie of the Year in 2018, he has come a long way, and is currently a favorite to win his first AL MVP award.

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His statistics don’t just overshadow today’s players, but some legends in former years as well. In the Angels’ last game, the 27-year-old achieved a statistic which only four others before him managed in MLB history.

Shohei Ohtani matches impressive feat of former MVPs

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Yesterday, the Angels took on the Texas Rangers in an American League regular season game. Although the Angels are out of the playoff race, Ohtani made more history in their 7-2 victory over the Rangers.

In the sixth inning, the Japanese star scored his 100th run of the season. Along with 45 home runs and 25 stolen bases, he is only the fifth player to achieve this trio of numbers in a single season of the American League or National League.

The only four players to do this are Alfonso Soriano, Chipper Jones, Larry Walker and Barry Bonds. In fact, apart from Soriano, all these players won the MVP in the seasons they achieved this feat in.

In 2006, Soriano scored a whopping 119 runs, 46 home runs and stole 41 bases for the Washington Nationals. While they didn’t make the playoffs, Soriano didn’t win the AL MVP for that season despite recording these statistics.

Jones won the National League MVP in the 1999 season, while smashing 116 runs, 45 home runs and stealing 25 bases for the Atlanta Braves. Although he won the World Series with the Braves in 1995, it wouldn’t be the same outcome four years later.

Sporting #33 for the Colorado Rockies, Walker scored 143 runs, 49 home runs and stole 33 bases. While this won him the MVP in 1997, the Rockies didn’t win the World Series that year. Last year, the Rockies retired the #33 jersey to honor Walker.

In 1993, Bonds produced a phenomenal season. He tallied 129 runs, 46 home runs and stole 29 bases en route to winning the MVP that season. Although he led the San Francisco Giants to 103 wins, they missed out on the playoffs since the Braves won 104.

While Ohtani shares the company of these icons, one thing makes him stand out: neither of them are pitchers unlike the Japanese talent.

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Ohtani leads the 2021 American League MVP race

Along with Ohtani, Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien are candidates in the AL MVP race this year.

OAKLAND, CA – APRIL 01: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the bottom of the first inning of his Major League pitching debut against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 1, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

However, as of this month, Ohtani has a whopping 56 first-place votes, which is 41 more than Guerrero Jr. Hence, one may say the AL MVP race is virtually over, even though the 27-year-old and the Angels won’t feature in the postseason this year.

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DIVE DEEPER

“He’s Just Venting”: Los Angeles Angels Manager Assures Shohei Ohtani is Not Going Anywhere

25 days ago

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Sanket Nair

806 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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