Shohei Ohtani heads list of players up for top MLB awards

Aug 10, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA;  Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) and Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) stand at first base in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani’s historic season with the Los Angeles Angels earned him a nod as one of three finalists for American League Most Valuable Player as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced its major award candidates Monday.

Up against Ohtani for the AL MVP are Toronto Blue Jays teammates Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien.

Ohtani hit 46 home runs and drove in 100 runs for the Angels this year, numbers that alone are worthy of MVP consideration. But he also made 23 starts on the mound for the club and went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA, recording 156 strikeouts in 130 1/3 innings.

Guerrero had 48 home runs and 111 RBIs while producing an AL-best 1.002 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. Semien hit 45 home runs and knocked in 102 runs during his first season in Toronto.

Ohtani was not among the AL Cy Young Award candidates, with Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees (16-8, 3.23 ERA), Lance Lynn of the Chicago White Sox (11-6, 2.69) and Robbie Ray of the Blue Jays (13-7, 2.84) named finalists.

The National League MVP finalists are Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies (35 HRs, 1.044 OPS), Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals (29 HRs, .465 on-base percentage) and Fernando Tatis Jr. (42 home runs, .975 OPS).

Finalists for NL Cy Young are Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers (11-5, 2.43), Max Scherzer, who pitched for both the Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers (15-4, 2.46) and Zack Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies (14-10, 2.78).

The AL Rookie of the Year finalists are Randy Arozarena and Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays as well as Luis Garcia of the Houston Astros. NL Rookie of the Year finalists are Dylan Carlson of the St. Louis Cardinals, Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds and Trevor Rogers of the Miami Marlins.

AL Manager of the Year finalists are Dusty Baker of the Astros, Kevin Cash of the Rays and Scott Servais of the Seattle Mariners, while the NL list consists of Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers, Gabe Kapler of the San Francisco Giants and Mike Schildt of the Cardinals, who was fired after the completion of the season.

The Rookie of the Year Awards for both leagues will be announced Nov. 15 live on MLB Network. Both manager awards will be announced Nov. 16, while Cy Young Awards will be presented Nov. 17 and the MVPs will be announced Nov. 18.

–Field Level Media

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