by Pedro Mora
FOX Sports MLB Writer
Aaron Judge Produces staggering statistics and an almost nightly show in pursuit of decades-old records, but to use his hunt to cut back Shuhei Ohtani Accomplishments are my insults to be punished for being exceptional.
In most seasons, the MVP judge’s year will make him a lock. But this is not the usual season. Features of this season It is the most dominant full-time, two-way season ever in Major League Baseball. As long as he can hold this up for a final few weeks, Ohtani is the best player in the MLS.
For the judge, that’s a shame. He had one of the best offensive seasons of the century. It looks like it would be better New York Yankees’ He scored in one home season and falls far short of the league mark announced by the “real” record, 73 for Barry Bonds.
But there are no records for Otani in sight, nor a nightly chase to keep up, because what he’s doing is unprecedented. He’s the only person who’s accomplished anything close to what he’s doing this year, and the inherent risk of injury trying both tasks means there’s no guarantee he’ll ever do it again.
The only way we can measure it against the others is to break it down into two players, and both Otani of the hitter and Otani of the bowler compare favorably with most of their peers. Both versions of it will be in the MVP and Cy Young Awards nominations. There is precedent for players to win a production like him.
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2021 NL Cy Young, The Brewers’ Corbin Burns, finished the season with 2.43 ERAs over 167 runs. He was in control enough to hit 12.6 hitters every nine runs. Bowler Ohtani is on track to finish 2022 with 158 runs in a 2.55 ERA. He was in control enough to hit 12 hitters in nine runs. This is Cy Young-caliber season. The roles may seem shorter than we expected, but Burns proved that voters would overlook the shortcomings there. Whether it’s Otani or one of his peers, the 2022 AL Cy Young winner will likely have thrown less than 200 runs this season.
2016 NL MVP, Cubs Chris Bryant, 39 home runs and 146 OPS+, scored 46% better than the league average as a hitter after accounting for the league and ball games he played in. Yes, Bryant played on the field, and Otani the hitter is the designated hitter. It’s DH on course to finish 2022 with 39 Homers and 148 OPS+. This is a season MVP of a caliber.
What can the judge do to ensure a victory over Ohtani? Well, he can throw. He tried it once, 11 years ago, when he was a 19-year-old rookie college student spending the summer with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots of the Alaska Major League Baseball. Three walked in one round. It’s hard to do both, you know.
Of course, there is an offensive threshold the judge can reach at which point it will ensure that even the best two-way player ever gets voted. He just hasn’t hit her yet. Judge started playing Wednesday with 209 OPS+. In the last century, Ted Williams scored four full seasons with a better mark than that, losing three out of four times in the MVP race.
The judge does something rare. He is facing his best offensive season since Barry Bonds retired. Ohtani is doing something Unprecedented. He has the best two-way season ever.
We’ve never agreed on what “value” means in an MVP. For a long time, players received significant reinforcements if their teams qualified for the playoffs. In recent years, American Baseball Writers Association voters have focused less and less on the team’s success when selecting their ballots.
This trend works in Otani’s favour, because the Judge season, especially recently, has propelled the Yankees and kept them at the top of the AL East, while Ohtani was unable to maintain Angels from fourth place. But just as a judge shouldn’t indulge if the Yankees somehow squandered their lead, Ohtani shouldn’t be condoned because of the Angels’ years of franchise-level failures.
Think of it this way: If Otani didn’t have a 2021 season and he was doing it in 2022, to prove to the world that this is possible, wouldn’t he be the best player?
It should be anyway.
Related: Ready for the counterpoint? yake Mintz says Aaron Judge goes beyond the typical campaign MVP and holds the Yankees while doing itWhich makes it worthy of the award.
Pedro Moura is the National Baseball Writer for FOX Sports. He has previously covered Dodgers for The Athletic, The Angels and Dodgers for the Orange County Register and LA Times, and his university, USC, for ESPN Los Angeles. He is the author of “How to Beat a Broken Game”. Follow him on Twitter @trimmed.
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