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Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani wins Silver Slugger Award for best DH

Angels' Shohei Ohtani watches the path of his solo home run against the Seattle Mariners.
Angels’ Shohei Ohtani watches the path of his solo home run against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning on Oct. 3 in Seattle.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Shohei Ohtani’s triumphant award season rolled on Thursday, as the Angels two-way star won the Silver Slugger Award as the best designated hitter in the American League.

Ohtani became the first Angels player to ever win the Silver Slugger at DH, and the first non-outfielder since Troy Glaus in 2001. He is also only the second Japanese-born recipient of the honor, joining three-time winner Ichiro Suzuki.

The Angels have now had a Silver Slugger winner in 10 consecutive seasons (eight of the previous nine belonged to Mike Trout) and 26 overall since the award’s inception in 1980.

Ohtani beat out four other Silver Slugger finalists at DH: Yordan Álvarez of the Houston Astros, Nelson Cruz of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo of the New York Yankees.

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The honor — which is determined by votes from MLB managers and coaches — was expected after Ohtani led that group in home runs (46), slugging percentage (.592), on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.965) and the all-encompassing advanced metric of OPS+ (158, meaning his overall production was 58% above league-average).

Ohtani also had 100 RBIs, 26 doubles, eight triples, 96 walks, 26 steals and 103 runs scored. According to the Angels, he became the first player in MLB history with at least 45 homers, 25 stolen bases and five triples in a season. And he did all while balancing 23 starts as a pitcher, as well.

The Angels and Shohei Ohtani’s agent won’t comment on potential extension of the star’s contract. But Ohtani, his agent says, likes being in Anaheim.

Ohtani was previously honored this offseason as the MLB Players Choice Outstanding Player, Baseball America’s player of the year and the 16th all-time recipient of the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award.

He is also one of three finalists for AL MVP, for which he is considered the front-runner. That award will be announced on Nov. 18.


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