This is the second time the Phillies right fielder has taken home the Most Valuable Player honor, the first as a member of the Nationals in 2015. This season, he edged out Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto in what seemed to become a wide-open race in the NL.
Harper accumulated 17 of the 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Soto took six first-place votes while Tatis Jr. snagged two, finishing second and third respectively in the vote tally.
The 29-year-old Harper slashed .309/.429/.615 with 35 homers and 84 RBIs this campaign, leading Philadelphia to an 82–80 record. He led the National League in slugging percentage and extra base hits and was second in on-base percentage.
Meanwhile, Ohtani exceeded expectations this season, making history along the way. He appeared in 158 games on offense, batting .257/.372/.592 with 46 home runs, 100 RBIs, 26 stolen bases and 103 run scored. He also went 9–2 on the mound with a 3.18 ERA across 23 starts, notching 156 strikeouts over 130.1 innings.
He is the first unanimous AL MVP since Mike Trout in 2014. Per MLB Stats, Ohtani is the only player to tally 30-plus homers and 30-plus strikeouts while pitching in a single season.
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