Shohei Ohtani is the AL MVP, so where will he go from here?

Your 2023 AL MVP Shohei Ohtani

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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On the pitcher's mound

Ohtani's season on the mound was nothing short of impressive. He finished with a 10-5 record, a 3.14 earned run average, a .184 opponent batting average, and 167 strikeouts over 23 starts, amounting to 132 innings pitched.

His pitching prowess was highlighted even more as he was among the top 10 AL pitchers in seven categories. These included ERA (third), WHIP (1.06, fourth), whiff rate (30.9%, second), strikeouts per nine innings (11.39, second), winning percentage (.667, fifth), and wins (eighth).

At the plate

Ohtani led the American League with 44 home runs, a .412 on-base percentage, and 78 extra-base hits as a hitter. He led the majors with a .654 slugging percentage and a 1.066 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. He also managed to steal 20 bases, becoming the first player of the season to reach the 40-homer mark.

His unique talent is further highlighted by the fact that he is the only player in the majors to hit 34 or more homers and six or more triples for three consecutive seasons. Moreover, he is the only player to secure 10 or more pitching wins and hit 10 or more home runs in multiple seasons — a feat only achieved once before by Babe Ruth in 1918.

The silver lining amidst injuries

Despite Ohtani's remarkable season, injuries unfortunately played their part. He was forced to stop pitching after tearing his right ulnar collateral ligament in a game on August 23. Further, he could not continue as a designated hitter after injuring his right oblique during batting practice on September 4.

Despite these setbacks, Ohtani remained optimistic about his recovery and readiness for the upcoming 2024 season.