Shohei Ohtani 29 of the Los Angeles Angels has been named the Associated Press AP 2023 and the Male Athlete of the Year. This is the second time he has won the award since 2021.

Ohtani received the honor by winning 20 votes out of 87 cast members, beating Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who led the team to the World Cup, and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic with 16 votes. Nikola Yogić who led the Denver Nuggets to the top for the first time since the team was founded garnered 12 votes.

Ohtani was named the second unanimous MVP in Major League history in 2023. After the season, he became a free agent and established himself as an international star with a 10-year, 700 million-dollar contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

MLB stars have produced five AP players in the last 10 years. They include Madison Bumgarner, MVP of the 2014 SF Giants World Series, Jose Altuve, MVP of the 2017 Houston Astros American League, Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels in 2021, and Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, the home run king in 2022.

Ohtani opened the season by leading the Japanese national baseball team to the World Baseball Classic WBC championship this year.

He then posted a batting average of 0.304 – on-base percentage of 0.4120 – long hit percentage of 0.654-OPS 1.066, 44 homers and 95 RBIs in batting after the opening of the MLB season. He ranks first in home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS in the league. Notably, he became the AL home run king even after missing the month of September due to an injury.

On the mound, he started 23 games with a 10-5 record with a 3.14 ERA and 55 walks and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings before stepping down due to an elbow injury.

Shohei Ohtani was 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 appearances before the elbow injury. AP Yonhap News

The multi-winners in the men’s category of the AP’s highest player, which began in 1931, include Dennis Don Burge, Golf Byron Nelson, Athletics Carl Lewis, NFL Joe Montana, NBA Michael Jordan, MLB Sandy Koufax, and Shohei Ohtani. Koufax, the left arm of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was the only MLB player to receive multi-winner, but Ohtani joined the elite ranks.

Golf Emperor Tiger Woods and NBA King LeBron James are four-time winners. Cyclist Lance Armstrong also won four awards but is in disgrace after drugs were discovered.

Ohtani was sidelined for a month in September due to injury, but with 44 home runs, he became the American League home run king.

AP Players of the Year are selected based on American athletes. Foreign nationalities include two Canadian ice hockey players, Wayne Gretzky, track and field players, Ben Johnson, two Swedish track and field players, Gundy Hag, Ski Ingemar Johansson, Australian track and field hub Elliott, Venezuelan MLB’s Jose Altuve, and Japan’s Shohei Ohtani. 스포츠토토

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