Joe Maddon got to witness Shohei Ohtani’s incredible season up close. The Los Angeles Angels manager oversaw the team as Ohtani pitched and hit at All-Star levels. And he believes Ohtani should be the unanimous AL MVP.
Maddon spoke with AM 830’s Roger Lodge for an interview on Monday and did not hold back about his star player.
Maddon said that Ohtani “absolutely” had the best season in MLB history.
“To indicate or even suggest that he is not the MVP is ridiculous,” Maddon told ‘The SportsLodge with Roger Lodge.’ “How do you not reward somebody that’s had the best year in the history of Major League Baseball with the ultimate reward for individual achievement, which would be the AL MVP?
“It’s staggering to watch every day. And he does it with a lot of joy for the game,” Maddon said.
Maddon believes that Ohtani can repeat the huge season and even get better. He said that Ohtani could play more innings next season. He added that Ohtani might have more success at the plate if he has more protection in the batting order (top Angels hitters Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon were hurt most of the year).
“He is the AL MVP. Anybody else should not get a first-place vote. You’re talking about the best year in the history of our game,” Maddon said on Lodge’s show.
Ohtani smashed 46 home runs, drove in 100, scored 103 runs and had a .965 OPS. He also stole 26 bases and tied for the league lead with eight triples. As a pitcher, he was 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 130.1 innings. The question of who deserves AL MVP should be an open and shut case, but some people want to turn it into a debate. Maddon has a definitive response to those people.