Shohei Otani added to his postseason trophy on Thursday when the Angels double-sided star won the Players Choice Awards – voted by his peers – for Major League Baseball and Outstanding American League Player for 2021.
Dodgers right-hander Max Scherzer, who was acquired on July 30 in an exchange from the Washington Nationals, has been named the National League Outstanding Pitcher.
On Tuesday, before the first game of the World Series, Otani was honored with the Historic Achievement Commissioner for his unprecedented two-way performance this season, with 46 home runs, 100 runs as a batter, and went 9-2 at 3.18. ERA at 23 kicks off as a reliever.
Left-handed slugger hit .257 with 0.965 hit rate plus knockbacks, 26 takes, eight triples, 103 runs and 26 stolen bases. The right-hander combined three-figure fastball with a nasty split-toe serve to strike out 156 and go 44 in 130 1/3 innings.
Otani beat Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who hit .311 with 1.002 OPS, 48 homers and 111 RBIs in the Major Leagues, and Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper, who hit .309 with 1.044 OPS, 35 homers. , 42 doubles and 84 RBIs, for Outstanding Player Award.
Otani, who became the first player selected to compete in an All-Star as a pitcher and striker, defeated Guerrero and Kansas City Royal Family catcher Salvador Perez, who hit .273 with .859 OPS, 48 homers and 121 RBIs for Outstanding Player Albert.
Okhtani, 27, was the first AL player to hit 45 or more homers, stole at least 25 bases and hit at least 100 runs. While his performance in arguably the best two-way season in baseball history wasn’t enough to push the injured Angels into the playoffs, it made Otani a clear favorite for AL’s most valuable player.
Scherzer, who won Outstanding Awards for the Players Choice AL pitcher in 2013 and the NL Award in 2017, went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA in 30 starts for the Nationals and Dodgers in 2021, including a 7-0 record and 1 .98 ERA in 11 starts after the Dodgers acquired it.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner, who started his fourth All-Star game, struck out 246 points, finished 36 and gave up just 119 hits in 179 1/3 innings, which is good for the top league’s 0.864 WHIP (walks plus hits for broken innings).
In a September 14 game against the San Diego Padres, Scherzer became the 19th player in major league history to break the 3,000 strikeout mark with Eric Hosmer’s fifth inning. He also threw a flawless inning – nine assists, nine strikes, three outs – and had a great game in the eighth inning that day.