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Philadelphia Phillies outfield Bryce Harper and Los Angeles Angels two-way standout Shohei Ohtani have been named NL and AL Most Valuable Players, respectively, the Baseball Writers of Association announced Thursday.
Harper led all batters by a measure of wRC+ last season, batting .309 and ranking sixth in the National League with 35 home runs. He also compiled 42 doubles and his numerous walks led to “the second-highest on-base percentage in the Senior Circuit,” noted Anthony Franco of MLB Trade Rumors.
This is the second such award for Harper.
“A month removed from his 29th birthday, Harper becomes the fourth player since 2000 to win multiple MVPs before turning 30, joining Mike Trout (3), Albert Pujols (3) and Alex Rodriguez (2),” wrote ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez.
Meanwhile, Ohtani became the first player hit at least 30 home runs in a year while also making at least 10 pitching appearances.
“Ohtani, 27, amassed 46 home runs and made 23 starts for an otherwise lowly Angels team. Offensively, he posted a .965 OPS (second-highest in the AL), added eight triples (tied for the major league lead) and stole 26 bases (a mark topped by only seven players),” wrote Gonzalez.
“He became the sixth player in history with at least 45 homers and at least 25 stolen bases in the same season, joining a decorated list of names that includes Alfonso Soriano, Chipper Jones, Jose Canseco, Larry Walker and Barry Bonds.”