Major League Baseball announced today that two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has been voted the winner of the 2021 Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. Ohtani, who was unanimously voted the 2021 AL Most Valuable Player, is the first Angels player since the award was introduced in 1973 to take home ODH honors. He is the first player in history to earn MVP and ODH awards in the same season.
Shohei posted a slash line of .258/.373/.608 with 92 runs scored, 122 hits, 20 doubles, eight triples, 43 home runs, 91 RBI and 25 stolen bases across 126 games as a DH for the Angels. Overall, the 27-year-old batted .257 (138-for-537) and tallied 103 runs, 80 extra-base hits and 100 RBI across 155 games played. Among his AL counterparts, Ohtani finished his historic campaign ranked first in triples; second in extra-base hits, slugging percentage (.592) and OPS (.965); and third in home runs (46) and walks (96).
Ohtani, who also received a 2021 Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award at designated hitter, became the fifth player in Major League history to register at least 45 home runs, 100 RBI and 25 stolen bases in a single campaign, joining Hall of Famers Larry Walker (1997) and Chipper Jones (1999), as well as Barry Bonds (1993) and Jose Canseco (1998). In addition, he became the only player in MLB history with at least 45 homers, 25 steals and five triples in a season. The left-handed-swinging slugger, who was also a First Team DH selection on the All-MLB Team presented by Cue Health, became the fourth player (fifth time) in franchise history to deliver at least 80 extra-base hits, 100 runs and 100 RBI in a campaign, joining his teammate Mike Trout (2014), Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero (2004) and Troy Glaus, who accomplished the feat in 2000 and 2001. His 46 round-trippers on the season ranked second in Angels history, trailing only Glaus’ 47 homers in 2000.
J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox finished second in voting after hitting .306 (133-for-435) with 75 runs, 36 doubles, 26 home runs, 88 RBI and a .577 slugging percentage across 113 games played as DH this past season.
Now in its 48th season, the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award was renamed by Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig in a September 2004 ceremony at Safeco Field in honor of the retiring Edgar Martinez. Ballots are cast by club beat writers, broadcasters and public relations departments with nominees including all players with a minimum of 100 at-bats as a designated hitter.
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