Ronald Acuña Jr., Shohei Ohtani Win 2023 NL, AL MVP Unanimously

2023 AL MVP Shohei Ohtani sitting in the dugout
(Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)

2023 NL, AL MVP: Ronald Acuña Jr, Shohei Ohtani — Both Unanimously

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. and Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani have taken home the 2023 NL and AL MVP, respectively. Both players won their awards unanimously, the first time in history both league’s MVPs were unanimous in the same season. Acuña and Ohtani were both favorites to win the award going into Thursday.

Ronald Acuña Jr.

Braves outfielder and lead-off hitter Ronald Acuña Jr is the first MVP since Freddie Freeman in 2020 for Atlanta. In his sixth season with the Braves, Acuña joined the 40-40 club, becoming the fifth player to do so. However, Acuña became the first player to join the 40-50, 40-60, and 40-70 clubs. The speedy, powerful outfielder whacked 41 home runs and swiped 73 bases this season. Acuña led the majors with 149 runs, 217 hits, 73 stolen bases, a .416 OBP, and 383 total bases. Acuña’s staggering 1.012 OPS and 6.2 WPA/LI led the NL. This season, Acuña earned his third Silver Slugger and fourth All-Star appearance.

Acuña wins his first-ever MVP award. His MVP win comes with a comeback after his first entire season healthy removed from his torn ACL in 2021. Ronald’s efforts helped the Braves win the league’s regular season-best 104 games, and Acuña takes the crown over a pair of Los Angeles Dodgers — outfielder/second baseman Mookie Betts and first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani’s 2023 campaign with the Angels is historic, to say the least. The DH and starting pitcher impressed on both sides of the coin, with incredible numbers hitting and pitching. Ohtani’s resume as a hitter alone could’ve won him the MVP. His league-best 1.066 OPS while slugging 44 home runs and a .412 OBP showed his dominance as a hitter. He had a .304 batting average, 95 RBI, and 20 stolen bases. Ohtani led all AL hitters in wRC+. Ohtani’s 10.0 WAR was the best in baseball by 1.7 points, a dominant margin. His 6.1 WPA/LI as a hitter is first in the AL and second in the majors, only behind Acuña. On the mound, Ohtani posted a 3.14 ERA, 1.061 WHIP, and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings across 23 starts.

Ohtani won MVP unanimously in 2021 and finished second in 2022 behind Aaron Judge‘s historic slugging season. Ohtani faced competition from Texas Rangers middle infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. Seager may have had a strong case to take the award in previous years, but Ohtani’s season is unmatched in history. The two-way phenom enters free agency, making the case for recent memory’s most significant free agent.

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Brooks Thomason

As a up and coming writer, Brooks has been born and raised as an Atlanta Braves fan. Going through the years of Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and Brian McCann as a kid, to Freddie Freeman, and Acuña, Brooks has seen Braves stars come and go. However, his fandom always remains with Braves Country.

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