Ohtani was recently listed as a finalist for the 2021 Players Choice Awards for Player of the Year and AL Outstanding Player. The Silver Slugger is a little bit more prestigious, however, and is brought up much more often in baseball debates than the Players Choice Awards. It comes with more bragging rights.
The best part about this award is that these finalists were obviously picked by all the guys who coach against Ohtani and know him well from that perspective.
Shohei Ohtani deserves to be a finalist for the Silver Slugger, but he also deserves to win the award.
In the running for the AL DH Silver Slugger with Shohei Ohtani is Yordan Alvarez, Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Gallo, and Nelson Cruz. That’s great company, but they’re lucky to finally be listed in the same sentence as Ohtani for the first time this season.
I mean no disrespect to the other four guys, but they’re simply nowhere near ShoTime’s level.
Ohtani’s 5.1 fWAR is 1.4 wins higher than the next closest on this list, which is Alvarez. (That’s obviously just Ohtani’s offensive WAR.)
His on-base percentage is 18 points higher than the next closest out of the finalists (.372 to .354 from Stanton). His .592 slugging percentage towers over the competition, beating the next-best Alvarez by 61 points.
His OPS is .965. Nobody else on this list is even at .880. His 152 wRC+ is 14 higher than the next-closest Alvarez.
All these guys had 32 or more home runs. Nobody had more than 38, though, and Shohei totaled 46. Gallo and Alvarez scored 90+ runs, but Ohtani had over 100 at 103.
The craziest part is that as a two-hole hitter who also hardly ever hit with anybody on, Ohtani was just four RBI shy of Alvarez (who had 104 RBI), and he’s the leader among this group in RBI.
The thing is, however, that Stanton hits the ball harder than anyone in baseball, right?
Well, this year, not really. Ohtani’s 45.1% hard hit percentage was actually 3.5% higher than Stanton’s. Stanton’s a close second when it comes to the hardest hitters in baseball, and has the best overall resume when it comes to smashing exit velocity records.
If we’re talking 2021, however, Ohtani’s the guy.
Give me Ohtani over anyone on this list. Give me Ohtani over anyone in the American League, no matter the position. There’s no way he doesn’t win the Silver Slugger this year.