The Baseball Writers Association of America and Major League Baseball announced the 2021 Most Valuable Player Award recipients on Thursday night. Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani took home the honors in the American League, nudging aside a pair of Toronto Blue Jays, in first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and second baseman Marcus Semien. (Semien is technically now a free agent.)
Ohanti received all 30 first-place votes, with Guerrero Jr. receiving 29 of the 30 second-place votes. The other went to Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Pérez. (You can view the full voting breakdown by clicking here.)
Ohtani, 27 years old, was widely considered the favorite entering the night because of the historic dual nature of his performance. He hit .257/.372/.592 (158 OPS+) with 46 home runs and 26 stolen bases (on 36 attempts) in 155 games as a hitter. Additionally, he started 23 contests as a pitcher, compiling a 3.18 ERA (141 ERA+) and a 3.55 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Baseball Reference estimates that Ohtani was worth 4.9 Wins Above Replacement as a hitter and another 4.1 as a pitcher, or about 9 wins total.
Ohtani is the first member of the Angels to win an MVP Award since -- who else? -- Mike Trout did it in 2019. (Trout also won the award in 2016 and 2014.) The only other Angels to win the MVP Award were Vladimir Guerrero in 2004 and Don Baylor in 1979.
Guerrero and Semien each had seasons worthy of recognition. Guerrero hit .311/.401/.601 (169 OPS+) with 48 home runs and 6.8 Wins Above Replacement. Semien, meanwhile, batted .265/.334/.538 (133 OPS+) with 45 home runs (a single-season record for second basemen) and 7.3 Wins Above Replacement.