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Shohei Ohtani wins Edgar Martínez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award after dominant 2023 season with Angels

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The winner of the 2023 Edgar Martínez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award has been announced and, to little surprise, it’s going to Shohei Ohtani

The Edgar Martínez Award has actually been around to award the best DH in baseball since the position was implemented in 1973. It was initially just the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award and was an Associated Press award. The AP discontinued it in 2000, but the BBWAA took it over. In 2004, MLB renamed the award to honor Hall of Famer Edgar Martínez. 

Ohtani hit .304/.412/.654 (184 OPS+) with 26 doubles, eight triples, 44 homers, 95 RBI and 102 runs in just 135 games this season. He led the majors in WAR, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+ while also pacing the AL in home runs, on-base percentage and total bases. 

There was decent competition for this award in Yordan Alvarez (.293/.407/.583, 170 OPS+, 31 HR, 97 RBI) and Marcell Ozuna (274/.346/.558, 138 OPS+, 40 HR, 100 RBI), but Ohtani was the easy and obvious pick. Other finalists were Bryce Harper and J.D. Martinez. 

This marks the third consecutive Edgar Martínez Award for Ohtani. Only David Ortiz had previously won this award three straight seasons, as he did so five times in a row from 2003-07. 

Here are the multi-time winners of this award: 

  • 8 – David Ortiz
  • 5 – Edgar Martínez
  • 3 – Shohei Ohtani, Hal McRae
  • 2 – Nelson Cruz, Paul Molitor, Dave Parker, Harold Baines, Don Baylor, Greg Luzinski, Willie Horton

Ohtani will continue to deal with Alvarez in the near future (and maybe the likes of Juan Soto and Bryce Harper), but he surely has a shot to challenge the namesake of the award and maybe someday get to Ortiz’s eight wins. 

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