MLB

Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuña Jr. unanimous MVP winners

By Sports Desk November 16, 2023

Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuña Jr. have consistently broken the mold in their young careers, and the unique accomplishments seemingly keep on coming.

Ohtani was announced as the American League’s Most Valuable Player of 2023, becoming the first player to win the award twice by unanimous vote.

Acuña was a unanimous selection as NL MVP after completing MLB’s first ever 40-homer, 70-steal season.

Never before have both MVP votes in the same year been unanimous.

A two-way star unprecedented in the modern game, Ohtani led the AL with 44 home runs while hitting .304 and accumulating 96 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. From the mound, he went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings pitched. 

The Los Angeles Angels star received all 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Rangers shortstop Corey Seager finished second with 24 second-place votes, while Texas teammate Marcus Semien finished third with five second-place votes.

Acuña helped lead the Atlanta Braves to the best record in baseball at 104-58. He was second in the NL with a .336 batting average and led the majors with 149 runs, 217 hits, 386 total bases and 73 stolen bases while hitting 41 home runs with 106 RBIs.

Mookie Betts, who won the 2018 AL MVP award, received all 30 second-place votes, while his Los Angeles Dodgers teammate and former Brave Freddie Freeman finished third.

With the final MLB awards announced, attention now turns to the winter hot stove, primarily Ohtani’s free agency.

The Japan-born star appeared to be a lock for a record-breaking contract this offseason, but injuries cut his 2023 campaign short, and he underwent right elbow surgery in September.

While Ohtani will certainly receive massive compensation, a second major surgery on his throwing elbow could complicate the equation for the Angels and the host of other teams likely to bid for his services.

Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018, and while the exact nature of his most recent surgery has not been revealed publicly, his team has said he will not pitch in 2024.

 

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