After winnings several prestigious awards this offseason, including but CERTAINLY not limited to a unanimous AL MVP and Silver Slugger, ShoTime has now won the AP Male Athlete of the Year Award.
People still can't shake what he just accomplished this year, in what is considered to be the greatest year in baseball history. I can't blame them. He's a 6'4," 210 pound MONSTER who also has the fastest wheels on the bases that the American League has to offer.
With the bat, he's one of the top few hitters in the league, if not THE best hitter on the planet. Tied for the league lead in triples (eight), Ohtani smoked 46 home runs, scored 103 runs, and drove in 100 RBIs in 2021. Batting .257/.372/.592 (0.965 OPS), he had a stellar 152 wRC+ and a 158 OPS+.
Shohei Ohtani was the best player in baseball this year despite having no lineup protection on the LA Angels.
Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Anthony Rendon all went through catastrophic injuries this season, and couldn't provide any lineup protection for Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani still posted those offensive numbers. He also had no run support due to the three highest contracts on our team being injured, yet went 9-2 on the bump in his 23 starts.
Leading the team with 130.1 IP, Ohtani posted a 3.18 ERA with a 131 ERA+ and 1.090 WHIP. He fanned 10.8 batters per nine frames, and established what some are considering to be the best pitch in baseball in his absolutely FILTHY splitter.
Nobody will ever forget Ohtani's season, which earned him a Major League leading 8.1 fWAR. Ohtani will look to continue his dominance next year, where he has the chance to be even better, as the best player of the last decade in Mike Trout will be returning to the diamond. Also returning will be Patrick Sandoval, Anthony Rendon, and Justin Upton.
If Ohtani can get some support from his teammates next year, the team will be quite the force in the American League playoff picture in 2022.